Premier Doug Ford says his government will spend an extra $25-million to combat gun crimes in Toronto.
The Premier says people are sick of the shootings in Toronto. He’s consulted with the City’s Police Chief to find answers.
Premier Ford says, “We’re going to start by creating a dedicated legal swat team for each Provincial Court House.”
Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney says, “The purpose of the bail support team is to put together the best possible case. Evidence in guns and gangs cases are complicated so we’re dedicating more resources.”
Hamilton Defence Lawyer Dean Paquette says this plan won’t change anything. “I’ve never had luck getting bails for clients with guns. They’re already vigorously opposing bails.” he says.
The Courthouse support takes 7.5 of the 25 million; the rest will be spent on technical and analytical tools police can use to solve crimes.
Hamilton’s Mayor Fred Eisenberger says, “Well, good for Toronto, they’ve got a significant gun problem.”
Hamilton has had 15 shootings this year, Toronto more than 240.
Opposition members at Queen’s Park say the Premier is missing the real target.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says, “This is ideology over evidence. He should be talking to the experts who know the social cost of gun violence, and with people who have the lived experience of gun violence, not throwing money only at the police.”
NDP MPP Gilles Bisson, “We need to put everything on the table, cause of gun crimes. Do we need to ban handguns? That’s a good question.”
Hamilton Police Board Chair Lloyd Ferguson told CHCH today that he spoke to the Police Chief and they’re on the same page. Hamilton would like more money to hire more officers, but he understands that Toronto’s gun crimes are far worse than Hamilton’s. He says if Toronto is able to crack down on the gangs and gun violence, that will prevent the perpetrators from coming west to Hamilton.