GTA

Feds will spend $7.1M to tackle youth gang violence in Toronto

Toronto Mayor John Tory and Bill Blair, the federal minister in charge of organized crime reduction, are announcing new funding to stop young people from joining gangs.

Blair said the federal government will send $6.7 million to the city over a five year span for a program that aims to address the root causes of youth violence. That program, dubbed the Community Healing Project, will include funding to have 250 youth work with other young people who are vulnerable to joining gangs.

Blair, who previously served as Toronto’s police chief, said in many cases youth are “perfect, vulnerable targets” for gangs looking for new recruits for a host of reasons.

Ottawa will also provide $400,000 to the Toronto Police Service as the force transitions to more neighbourhood-level policing. 

The two are speaking with reporters at 11 a.m. ET. You can watch that announcement live in the video above.

Toronto has been dealing with a surge in shootings and senseless killings in 2018.

In the span of 48 hours this week, two people were shot to death while police also investigated eight shooting incidents, including one possible drive-by attack near an elementary school in the city’s northwest.

Tory called that violence “completely unacceptable” and said governments need to do everything they can to keep youth on the right path.

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