Ontario’s men and women in uniform will receive new tools and resources to protect innocent families from the menace of drug, gun and gang-related violence. Premier Doug Ford today joined Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Michael Tibollo and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney to announce that Ontario’s Government for the People is investing $25 million in new funding to fight gangs and guns.
This new funding is above and beyond the $76 million already being provided to support the Toronto Police Service.
“It’s time to get serious about fighting guns and gangs,” said Premier Doug Ford. “And I’m proud to say our government is stepping up to the plate to do our part. With today’s announcement, we are sending a clear message to the violent criminals carrying out gun violence on our streets. We are letting them know that we are coming for them. We are giving our police the cutting-edge tools that they need to fight drug gangs and gun criminals in 2018.”
As part of the funding, the Ford Government will invest $7.6 million in assigning one legal SWAT team per courthouse to be located at each of Toronto’s provincial courthouses. Each team will be led by a Crown Attorney with the mandate to focus exclusively on ensuring violent gun criminals are denied bail and remain behind bars. These teams will be further supported by a new team of bail compliance officers who will focus their attention exclusively on ensuring that those gun criminals who are out on bail are not violating any of the terms of their release.
“Those who commit violent gun offences belong behind bars, and not on bail,” said Mulroney. “These new resources will help keep the worst offenders off the streets and keep our neighbourhoods safe.”
“The senseless gun violence we are seeing in Toronto needs to stop and the status quo will not cut it,” said Tibollo. “We’re proud to partner with our police officers and ensure they have the tools they need to crack down on crime and help restore public safety across the city.”
Following extensive consultations with Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders and members of the Toronto Police Service, the Ford Government also announced that it will dedicate $18 million in funding to provide additional digital, investigative and analytical resources necessary for fighting drug gangs and gun criminals in 2018.
“Part of our strategy to address gun violence in the city includes partnering with the provincial government for a collaborative and meaningful response,” said Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders. “With today’s announcement, Premier Ford and his government have listened to our concerns and have invested in the Toronto Police Service, giving us the ability to be surgical with apprehending those who use guns and ensuring the courts have the resources they need to deal with violent criminals.”
Premier Ford also called on the City of Toronto and the federal government to each do their part by matching Ontario’s unprecedented investment. “We are calling on them to step up and do their part,” said Ford. “The Feds must do more and the city must step forward, because we all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe.”