Call for action plan to address gun violence in Toronto

People speaking their truth at the march

Louis March, founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movement, has called on candidates in next month’s Toronto city council elections to present an “action plan” to address the current “gun violence crisis.”

He was speaking at a community march in Toronto on Saturday.

March noted that the City of Toronto has created the Safe-TO ten year plan to address the gun crisis” along with a “Towards Peace” program.

But he said these must be “immediately fast tracked into action” and must be committed “to real community participation and engagement.”

Hundreds of people, concerned about gun violence in Toronto, took part in the  march along Yonge Street which ended at City Hall with speeches by several participants.

Among them were mothers and fathers who lost their children to gun violence.

Louis March and Masai Ujiri with members of the community

Their testimonials and calls for “better supports” were echoed by representatives from several organizations including the YWCA, the One by One Movement, Communities for Zero Violence, Develop Me Youth and Mothers of Peace.

They challenged the political leaders to make gun violence and community safety a priority – not only in words but also in actions and commitments.

Also taking part in the march were Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, and other members of the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) administration staff. They have been calling on the Federal government to declare a specific day each year as Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The march started with prayers from an Indigenous community group.

Police reported that there have been 307 shootings in Toronto so far this year. There were 304 shootings in the city over the same period last year.