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December 20, 2018
City of Toronto receives federal funding for programs to curb gun violence
  
Mayor John Tory today welcomed the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime, and Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders to City Hall for the federal minister’s Youth Gang Prevention Fund (YGPF) announcement. The YGPF is part of the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) for programs to curb gun violence.

The City of Toronto will receive approximately $6.76 million in Public Safety funding over a five-year period for the Community Healing Project for Crime Prevention and Intervention. The Toronto Police Service will receive up to $400,000 in Public Safety funding over a two-year period to enhance the Neighbourhood Officers Program in eight priority neighbourhoods in Toronto.

“On behalf of all Toronto residents, I want to thank the federal government for recognizing the importance of these programs and providing the funding to support them,” said Mayor Tory. “This is a key step forward to implement our plan to curb gun violence in the city, and we look forward to continue working with our partners to support young people, families, and neighbourhoods.”

"One of the goals of our Neighbourhood Officer program is to connect community members with the right resources and build relationships based on trust and co-operation," said Chief Saunders. "With these funds, the Life Skills to Succeed project will ensure 360 young people in four neighbourhoods are given the chance to learn from experts and work with police officers. With this program, they can break the cycle and be given every opportunity possible to contribute to the safety of our communities rather than choosing a life of crime."

Toronto City Council in July adopted a report highlighting proposed gun violence prevention actions, which included requests to the federal government:
• to ban the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition in Toronto
• to implement harsher penalties and mandatory-minimum sentences for gun traffickers
• to implement tougher screening for mental health and intimate partner violence issues for licensed gun owners and those seeking to acquire firearm permits and
• to enact tougher penalties for those that commit offences with guns.

The Council-approved report can be found on the City’s website at https://bit.ly/2mGLX43.

The City submitted an application in late July for $32.6 million in funding over five years from the federal government's National Crime Prevention Strategy, funding available to support projects that contribute to preventing and reducing crime in Canada and to increase knowledge about what works in crime prevention.

The Community Healing Project for Crime Prevention and Intervention is a proven peer-support model aimed at addressing the root causes of youth gang involvement and increasing protective factors for young people exposed to community violence. Over the five years, the program is expected to reach 1,350 young people. Through the project, 250 young people will be certified as "Peer Healers" to deliver workshops on Mental Health Literacy and Resiliency to other young people who are vulnerable to involvement in gangs and violence. This funding will allow staff to expand the program from 10 communities per year to 20.

The goal of the Toronto Police Service’s Life Skills to Succeed project, run by the Neighbourhood Officers, is to enhance the life skills of young people in eight designated neighbourhoods. Through the program, at-risk youth will have opportunities to develop their skills in a variety of areas including emotional intelligence, peer relationship building, gang avoidance, resume writing, job interviewing, financial literacy, effective communication, online safety/awareness, wellness, career planning, and building relationships with the Toronto police. Over the two years, it is anticipated that 360 at-risk youth will participate in the program.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.

Media Contact
Natasha Hinds Fitzsimmins
Strategic Communications
416-392-5349
Natasha.HindsFitzsimmins@toronto.ca

Meaghan Gray
Toronto Police Service
416-808-7095
Meaghan.Gray@torontopolice.on.ca

 

 

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