Toronto – Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action on gun violence, with a comprehensive plan that gets guns off our streets and puts more resources into our communities. The most important element of this plan is preventing gun violence from happening in the first place, which is why we launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March of 2022, the BSCF supports local initiatives to prevent gun violence and help young people make good choices.
The Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, and Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, have announced that the City of Toronto will receive up to $12.3 million from the BSCF to address gun violence. The City will distribute these funds to local organizations that tackle the root causes of gun crime. They will support community-led projects to combat violence among children, youth, and young adults who are involved in, or at risk of joining gangs.
The City of Toronto is the first of many communities to receive funding under the BSCF. The Government of Canada is currently working with identified municipalities and Indigenous communities to put contribution agreements in place as quickly as possible. The BSCF also complements several other successful federal programs and streams that help young people stay away from gangs, including the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence and the Youth Gang Prevention Fund.
No one program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun violence on its own. That is why the BSCF is a key element of the Government’s comprehensive plan to keep Canadians safe. This includes major investments at our borders to stop gun smuggling, a proposed national freeze on handguns, new proposed “red flag” laws to stop domestic violence, the banning of more than 1,500 models of assault-style firearms, and a buyback program, to get guns off of our streets.
“My number one priority as Minister of Public Safety is keeping Canadians safe, especially from gun violence. The Building Safer Communities Fund addresses the root causes of crime by creating safe spaces, empowering young people, and helping them make good choices that will set them up for success in life. Stopping gun crime before it starts is a key pillar of our plan to address gun violence, along with action at our borders, a ban on assault-style weapons, and the recently introduced Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation.” – Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety