Governments taking action to combat gun and gang violence
Aug. 30, 2019
Global Korean Post
Increased gun and gang violence makes our communities less safe and impacts how Canadians live their lives. Establishing community-level programs and initiatives, led by front-line community organizations is key to tackling violence at the local level.
On Aug. 26, the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair, announced more than $2.2 million over five years to support the Guns and Gang Violence Action Fund – Northwest Territories.
Also, he announced $54 million over three years in funding starting in 2020 to support Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GGVRS). This funding is in addition to the $11 million over two years announced in March, bringing the total investment over the five-year initiative to $65 million.
Canadians have the right to feel safe in their communities and it is the responsibility of all governments to keep them safe. Gun and gang activity in Ontario has been a long-standing problem affecting the quality of life in neighbourhoods and how people live their lives.
There is a strong correlation between gang-controlled territory and gun violence. In 2016, 54 per cent of firearm-related homicides in Ontario were related to gang activity.
Ontario’s government is providing new resources and tools to local police, prosecutors and community partners, including initiatives to combat human trafficking and improve intelligence-gathering in jails.
Building on initiatives announced earlier this year and in summer 2018, Ontario is extending government-wide efforts to curb gun crime and reduce gang activity, by investing in new initiatives to:
- Combat human trafficking, including enhancements to survivor supports, investments in dedicated prosecution resources, and future enhancements to the Safer and Vital Communities Grant Program.
- Create a new Intensive Firearm Bail Team in Peel to support bail hearings and proceedings for gun-related offences in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- Establish a GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Gun and Gang Fund, focused on supporting projects and partnerships in the GTA and GGH, including Toronto, Durham Regional, Halton Regional, Peel Regional, York Regional, Niagara Regional and Hamilton Police Services.
- Create a new Eastern Ontario Gun and Gang Team that will work closely with the Ottawa Police Service. The East Region team is staffed with four Assistant Crown Attorneys, who will provide prosecutorial support for complex investigative projects and an intensive firearms and gang-specific bail strategy.