Government of Canada taking steps to prevent and reduce gun and gang violence

News release

June 19, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario
Public Safety Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to preventing and reducing crime, especially gun and gang violence. A new federal initiative of $327.6 million over five years to tackle the increase of gun related violence and gang activities in Canada, along with the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS), are critical to this work.

Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness released the summary report on the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence, held in March, 2018. The summary provides an overview of presentations led by partners and stakeholders from across the country. It will help inform the allocation of new federal funding to tackle gun and gang violence in Canada.

Key concerns and considerations reflected in the summary report include:

  • The increase of gun and gang-related crime rate since 2013 and the evolving nature of gangs, which are becoming more fluid, mobile and innovative in their use of technology;
  • The need for law enforcement to integrate efforts and have access to more resources for analysis, research and training and enhance information-sharing amongst all partners;
  • The importance of resources for border security to prevent firearm smuggling.

This initiative will support enforcement measures and community-led projects involving prevention. It will build on federal expertise and resources related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to enhance prohibition of illicit goods, including drugs and guns. Funding will also be provided to Indigenous communities and organizations to address the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations.

In addition, a new call for applications was recently launched under the NCPS to support projects aiming to prevent or reduce the impact of gangs, violence, bullying and cyberbullying on youth, including on Indigenous and vulnerable populations. The NCPS call for applications is now open and will close on July 31, 2018.


“While Canada is generally a safe country, over the past five years gun and gang violence has been increasing. The Government of Canada is committed to combatting these trends and making our communities safer through a package of common sense measures. We are grateful for the thoughtful input from our partners at the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence, and the ideas that will come from our call for crime prevention projects. Together we are advancing joint action for prevention, intervention and enforcement initiatives.”

- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick facts

  • In 2016, police reported 141 gang-related homicides, 45 more than in 2015. Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled. 

  • Firearm-related homicides in Canada have been steadily increasing since 2013, reaching a total of 223 in 2016, 44 more than the previous year.

  • In November 2017, the federal government announced approximately $327.6 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $100 million annually thereafter, to combat gun crime and gang violence. Public Safety Canada will engage with partners to discuss the outcomes of this Summit and how the federal initiative can best support enforcement measures and community-led projects.

  • The Summit on Gun and Gang Violence was hosted in Ottawa (Ontario) by Minister Goodale on March 7, 2018 to engage more than 180 experts from law enforcement, Indigenous, youth and community organizations, mayors from large municipalities and representatives from most provinces and territories and address the challenges, opportunity and best practices for reducing gun crime and gang violence in Canada.

  • The NCPS call for Applications is open from June 6, 2018 until July 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m. (PST)

  • In April 2018, Public Safety Canada launched the Crime Prevention Inventory, the first national database of evidence-based crime prevention programs in Canada, in collaboration with the provinces and territories.

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Scott Bardsley
Senior Advisor for Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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