JohnTory; #TorontoSafe; #gunviolence; #DougFord
Toronto, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory made the following statement on Gun violence, media reports said.
“I want to thank Premier Ford and Ministers Mulroney and Tibollo for their commitment to invest more than $25 million over four years to combat gun violence in our city, something we all agree is an urgent and pressing need.
I also welcome news about the creation of specialized legal teams at provincial courthouses and new bail compliance officers. For months, I have been urging my federal and provincial counterparts to toughen up bail for gun offenders and so this move today by the provincial government is particularly gratifying.
I want to add a particular thank you to Minister Mulroney for her immediate agreement to consider the matter of bail in response to my letter of July 4, 2018.
While we await exact details of the funding, it is our understanding that the province is requesting the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada match these new amounts. I have already been in touch with City officials and initial indications are they have the delegated authority from Council to flow funding now that will allow the City to match the provincial contribution for the remainder of 2018. The decision as to whether to match the balance of the funds will be up to the next Council following our election.
I am committing today that should I hold office as Mayor, I will bring the request for matching funds to Council at the first available opportunity and urge my colleagues to support it.
I want Toronto to remain one of the safest big cities in the world. The safety and security our citizens enjoy is what has always distinguished us from other large urban centres and I’m determined to keep it that way.
That’s why in June I led City Council in approving $2.7 million to immediately deploy more police resources on to our streets. The plan also included $13.7 million for community-based prevention initiatives this year and next, as well as significant investments in technology to assist our frontline police officers. Council also made an urgent plea to the federal government to consider banning the sale and possession of handguns in the City of Toronto and to consider tougher sentencing and bail provisions for gun offenders. Those requests are being actively considered and we look forward to a further response.
I have always believed that any solution to gun violence requires a balanced approach including: more community programming that prevents young people from getting involved in gangs and gun violence in the first place; more police officers in neighbourhoods; and stricter controls on guns and tougher justice for gun traffickers.
Once again I thank Premier Ford and the government of Ontario for joining with us to fight gun violence and help keep our neighbourhoods safe.”