Canadians deserve to be safe in their communities. That’s why the Government of Canada has a comprehensive plan that gets guns off our streets and resources into our neighbourhoods. A central part of this involves adding resources to fight crime and prevent violence from happening in the first place.
The Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, today announced that the Government of Canada will be investing $390 million in programs to help stop gun crime and gang violence before it starts. The Government will provide this funding over the next five years to provinces and territories to support a variety of initiatives, including support for law enforcement and prevention programs.
This funding builds on the success of the initial Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence (ITAAGGV), announced in 2017. ITAAAGGV funding has been used by provinces to for an array of important efforts to combat gun and gang violence. Quebec has used it for Operation Centaur, a provincewide initiative that reinforces police with specialized units, disrupts firearms trafficking and prevents crime. In British Columbia, funding supports the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia, a dedicated police agency to fight gun smuggling, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime.
No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun crime on its own. ITAAGGV is one of many elements in the government’s plan to keep Canadians safe. This begins with strong borders, where the government has invested nearly half a billion dollars in border security and deepened cooperation with the Untied States to fight gun smuggling. It also includes legislation, headlined by Bill C-21, the government’s strongest legislation combatting gun violence, and upcoming bail reform. Finally, it involves strong prevention strategies, such as the major investments announced today.
“The safety and security of Canadians is our government’s top priority. The best way to keep people safe is to stop crime and violence before it starts. Today’s announcement will give additional resources to law enforcement, support young people in making good choices and help our communities thrive. Strong prevention strategies like these are central pillar in our plan to ensure Canadians are safe in their communities.”
- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“I want to thank the Minister of Public Safety Canada and Ontario’s Solicitor General for their commitment to combatting guns and gang, a priority for police services across Ontario. Today’s announcement is a significant investment in a continuing, comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing and reducing gun and gang violence by providing the resources required to investigate and hold accountable those that victimize our communities.”
- Chief Nishan Duraiappah, Peel Regional Police, President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP)
“Gang violence is increasing, and we are working with our federal partners to put criminals behind bars. Our financial contribution of nearly $15 million this year to the Guns and Gangs Violence Reduction Strategy, on top of the federal government’s continued support announced today, will have a direct impact on reducing gang activity. Our investment will support a guns-and-gangs joint-forces operation across multiple jurisdictions, as well as a provincial guns-and-gangs support unit to assist with investigations and prosecutions.”
- The Honourable Michael Kerzner, Solicitor General of Ontario
Gun and gang-related crime continues to be a serious issue in Canada and the ITAAGGV is making a positive difference since the program began.
ITAAGGV recipients reported that their projects were producing positive impacts relative to their objectives and to the communities, populations or stakeholders served by their project.
ITAAGGV funding helped enhance the RCMP’s Integrated Criminal Firearms Initiative (ICFI), expanding the services available to law enforcement to better combat the use of illegal firearms and improve the national collection, analysis and sharing of firearms-related intelligence and information.
ITAAGGV funding has also supported enhancements to CBSA’S detection technology, equipment and infrastructure to help prevent firearms from coming into the country illegally.
ITAAGGV investments are complemented by the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March 2022, the BSCF provides funding directly to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support local initiatives that prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices.