Doug Ford’s PC government has announced plans to spend $25 million over four years to combat guns and gang in Toronto.
“It’s time to get serious about fighting guns and gangs,” Premier Doug Ford said in a news conference Thursday.
“We are sending a clear message to the thugs, to the violent criminals who think they own our streets. We are sending a message that we are coming for them.”
Ford called on both the federal government and the City of Toronto to match the province’s funding commitment.
The funding will include $7.6 million for teams at each courthouse in the city dedicated to prosecuting gun crime cases.
The government says these teams will be focused on ensuring violent gun criminals are denied bail.
Toronto Mayor John Tory sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the federal government to ban handguns in the city as a way to combat gun violence.
I sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in the city of Toronto and to take more steps to address gun violence in the city. pic.twitter.com/25crMAhhiq
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) August 6, 2018
When asked, Premier Ford said he did not support the handgun ban.
The premier said the funding will help give police the tools they need to address a rise in gun violence.
“I believe in empowering the police to make decisions with the funding that they get,” said Ford.
“I don’t believe politicians should be telling police what they should and shouldn’t be doing.”