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Ontario gets $11M from feds to combat guns, gangs

Last Updated Mar 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm EDT

Ontario will be receiving $11 million in funding from the federal government over two years to combat gun crime and gang activity in the province.

Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair made the announcement at the York Region District School Board in Aurora on Tuesday morning.

This is part of the more than $54 million that will be made available to the province over the next five years, as part of the the federal Liberals’ Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.

Blair said there has been an increase in gun violence and gang activity across Canada, and that all levels of government should tackle it together.

“There is no one simple solution to the problem of gun and gang violence in our communities. We have to invest in communities, we have to invest in those kids. We have to change the social circumstances that give rise to violence in the first place,” he said.

The provincial government has not said how much of that money will be given to Toronto.

“The focus has to be Ontario-wide … collaboration is critical with this piece to make it work. So we’re going to make sure that all police services, that all communities can benefit from the federal government’s investment,” Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Sylvia Jones said.

Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said as a part of their action plan to combat gun and gang violence, the ministry has established a firearm bail support team. The team of Crown attorneys and case management coordinators are responsible for working on firearm bail hearings.

The team has been involved in 150 bail hearings “in order to make the strongest case for detention when circumstances allow it,” Mulroney said.

“Our important work on this priority extends beyond the courts and across the province where the influence and strength of gangs remains a growing threat.”

Watch the full announcement below.