Minister Goodale Urges Joint Action to Combat Criminal Gun and Gang Violence
Ottawa – March 7, 2018 – Today, following the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement. He was joined by Mark Holland, Parliamentary Secretary for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Canada.
“Criminal gun and gang violence is a grave threat to the safety of our communities. While overall crime rates in Canada are much lower than decades ago, homicides, gun crime and gang activity have all been steadily increasing. Gun homicides have almost doubled over the past four years—and more than half are linked to gangs. Cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton have been particularly hard-hit—and these problems have spread to other areas of the country, including rural and Indigenous communities.
We all need to work together to tackle these challenges and to implement solutions. That’s why the Government of Canada held the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence. Today, my provincial and territorial colleagues, experts from law enforcement and academia, Indigenous, youth and community organizations and municipalities shared information on the realities, issues and best practices to combat criminal gun and gang violence.
I am grateful to all the participants and presenters for our discussions and our ongoing dialogue on these issues. The information we shared today will help advance joint action for future prevention, intervention and enforcement initiatives, and help inform the way forward for the federal government’s Initiative to Take Action Against Guns and Gangs – a multi-pronged approach to tackle criminal gun and gang activity in Canada.
Specifically, the government will invest $327.6 million over five years, and then $100 million a year thereafter to bring together federal, provincial and territorial efforts to support community-level prevention and enforcement efforts, build and leverage unique federal expertise and resources to advance intelligence related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to interdict illicit goods including guns and drugs.
Funding will also be provided to Indigenous organizations to help build capacity through education, outreach and research, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations.
The safety and security of Canadians is my top priority. I am committed to working with all levels of government and community organizations to end the scourge of criminal gun and gang violence in our communities and to bring forward effective firearms legislation that prioritizes public safety while ensuring fair treatment for law-abiding firearms owners.”
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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