The Canadian government will be spending C$327.6m over five years, in an effort to curb the increase in gun violence that is affecting the country. In addition, a further C$100m in new funding will be spent annually afterwards, to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities.
This is part of a broader plan the government has to arrest gun violence with the hope that the increase in funding will make it harder for criminals to get and use handguns and assault weapons.
The government’s action, comes against the background of a number of groups, making demands for firm and decisive action, to stem the increase in violence.
Recently, two community groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), organized a march to Ottawa, to press their disapproval of the limited political action to deal with the escalating gun violence.
The Zero Gun Violence Movement (ZGVM) and Communities for Zero Violence (CZV), met with five federal Members of Parliament from the GTA, about various gun-related issues.
These activities by the citizens, spurred political actions and apart from the funding, the government will bring experts, practitioners, frontline personnel and decision makers for a Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs in March 2018.
The Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit will be an unprecedented national summit on challenges, solutions and best practices in the fight against gun crimes and in combating the deadly effects of gangs and illegal guns communities across Canada.
The Canadian government is hoping that key stakeholders will participate, including law enforcement agencies, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, community and mental health organizations, indigenous groups, government and non-government organizations.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale said, “too many young people have been killed and too many communities have been marred by gun crime and gun violence. It doesn’t have to be that way.
“By working together, we can make our communities safer through greater enforcement, collaboration and prevention. The federal government is making major new investments to tackle this scourge and will bring all levels of government and our partners together to confront this problem at the Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs,” Goodale said.