Toronto Mayor John Tory announced Tuesday that he’s asking for a $32.6 million grant from the federal government of Canada that will go toward community healing projects and prevention initiatives to curb gun violence.
This request comes two weeks after Tory pledged $12 million of Toronto’s own budget to put toward handling gangs and gun violence, according to a CBC News report.
The mayor already met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and had discussions with Ministers Ralph Goodale and Bill Blair about the funding, according to a news release on his official website.
“We are sending a clear message with these requests to the federal government that we want to do all we can — with their help — to make sure our communities are addressing the roots of violence,” the release stated.
Toronto police statistics reveal that shooting deaths are on the rise, with 30 reported deaths from gunfire in 2018 already, compared to 20 by August in 2017, the CBC report claims.
Statistics also show there have been 233 shootings overall so far, up from 217 in 2017.
Among the programs Tory is considering putting the funds toward are the Youth Violence Prevention Plan and the Toronto Youth Partnership and Employment Program (TYPE).
New programs he is considering involve children’s mental health and trauma recovery resources as well as a community, city, police and gang violence intervention service model.
“I am confident this plan, with its emphasis on community investments, will help our children, will help our communities, will help our police, and will help keep our city safe,” Tory said.
Toronto suffered a mass shooting on July 22 that killed two women and injured 13 others and left the suspected gunman dead.
The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack days later, but some Canadian officials and those in the media are insisting the gunman suffered from mental illness. (RELATED: ISIS Claims Responsibility For Toronto Mass Shooting)
The shooting killed two young girls, Julianna Kozis, 10, and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.
The mayor also asked Trudeau’s government after the most recent shooting for a total ban on handguns and the sale of ammunition.
Trudeau wouldn’t say directly whether his government would approve the total ban as he left a funeral on Monday for one of the victims.
“We’re looking at things that have been done around the world — things that have been done in other jurisdictions, looking at the best evidence, the best data, to make the right decisions to make sure that we are ensuring our citizens, our communities are safe into the future,” he said.
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