Community organizations call on City of Toronto to develop gun violence reduction strategy

JCA President Adoma Patterson

The Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) and five of its “community partners” are calling on the City of Toronto to develop a ” comprehensive, coordinated and integrated strategy “to address the problem of gun and gang violence.

“We are heartbroken and outraged over the latest spate of violence, including the shooting of another child. Communities are in crisis as the city continues to face a spate of shootings,” says the JCA in a news release.

It notes that ” this is occurring amidst the backdrop of a proposed [ City] budget of $13.98 billion that again neglects sufficient investments in community – based and community-led solutions to the rise in violence,”

The release points out that ” the development of an integrated, inter-agency gun violence reduction strategy, which connects the City of Toronto, Toronto Police Service, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and Toronto Public Health and their respective strategies, is urgently needed to ensure greater coordination and impact. ”

It states that  “while some funding is currently provided to a small number of community agencies to address some aspects of this issue, the effect of these uncoordinated investments, outside of the framework of a gun violence strategy, has been minimal.

“Given the complexity of the issues, it is incumbent on Mayor Tory and City Council to demonstrate the necessary leadership by creating a long-term City of Toronto strategy that responds urgently and works in tandem with all other city agencies and their respective strategies.”

The five “community partners” that have joined with the JCA in calling for a  ” gun violence reduction strategy ” are the Zero Gun Violence Movement of Toronto, the Association of Black Law Enforcers, the Black Health Alliance,  the Destiny Gospel Centre and the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council -Jamaica.

Toronto Police report that since the beginning of this year there have been  39 shootings in the city resulting in eight deaths.