The Government of Canada is investing $11 million CAD to stop gun and gang violence in Ontario. It is part of the funding to provinces and territories for projects aimed at preventing and intervening in local gang activity for specific areas struggling with high crime, and to continue to provide counseling and support to build stronger communities, under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.
The $11 million over two years will directly support Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GGVRS). The GGVRS will focus on the prevention, intervention, enforcement, and prosecution of gun and gang violence in communities. The funding received from the federal government will help Ontario create and deliver prevention and intervention initiatives for women, youth and young adults. A number of initiatives will also support the development and delivery of community-based Indigenous-specific programs designed to reduce violence and promote healing in Indigenous Communities.
Ontario will also use the funding to support enforcement activities across the province to address existing, emerging and underlying gun and gang issues.
Announcing the funding, Bill Blair, Minister of Border Services and Organized Crime Reduction, said every police officer knows that you cannot merely arrest your way out of complex community problems, and that initiatives which address the root causes of gun and gang violence and developing crime prevention methods at the local level are vital.
The $11 million is part of a previously announced $327.6 million investment from the government to the whole of Canada over five years to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence. From the $327.6 million, $214 million will be made available to the provinces and territories through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund over a period of five years. Through this fund, over the full five years, Ontario will receive a total of $65 million.
The Government of Canada also invested an additional $8 million over the next four years in the Youth Gang Prevention Fund beginning in 2019 under the National Crime Prevention Strategy as part of its commitment to community funding under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.