Toronto asks for $32.6M from federal government to curb gun violence

The city applied to the federal government for a $32.6 million grant Tuesday, which will go toward funding programs intended to curb gun violence.

“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,” Mayor John Tory said in a news release.

This follows Tory’s promise two weeks ago to allocate $12 million of the city’s own budget to several initiatives to tackle gangs and gun violence, following the recent rise in shootings.

The second half of that promise involved asking the federal government for a grant, which Tory said Tuesday will go toward programs designed to address direct intervention into gun violence and community readiness.

“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 in the statement.

Toronto Police statistics show shooting deaths are up compared to recent years. So far in 2018, 30 people have died from gunfire, compared to 20 at this point last year.

There have been 233 shootings overall this year, which is up from 212 in 2017.

One of the city’s most recent shooting rampages, which happened on Danforth Avenue, resulted in the deaths Julianna Kozis, 10, and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.

The programs considered for expansion include the city’s Youth Violence Prevention Plan, Community Crisis Response Program, and its Community Healing Project.

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