Government of Canada takes action to prevent crime in Toronto
TORONTO, September 3, 2008 — Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, announced an investment of more than $4.9 million in funding over three and-a-half years for a project aimed at preventing and reducing street gang activity in Toronto.
“Our government is concerned with gang violence in Toronto neighbourhoods and today's announcement is another concrete action this government is taking to prevent crime among youth. We have listened to the concerns of the police and the City of Toronto on this issue,” said Minister Day. “This funding will go a long way to prevent at-risk youth from getting involved with gangs and will help them make better choices.”
“Although Toronto remains one of the safest big cities in the world, we are always looking for ways to make it even safer,” said Mayor David Miller. “In partnership with the federal government through its National Crime Prevention Strategy, Toronto's Preventing Youth Gang Activity pilot project will help youth and family members disposed to gang activities find and access the social supports they need. By working together to provide opportunities for individual and community development, we can reduce youth gang violence in Toronto.”
The project is a community-based program designed to prevent and reduce gang violence in vulnerable Toronto neighbourhoods. The aim is to work closely with at-risk youth, their families, and the community to build knowledge, skills and support young people need to leave gangs or resist joining gangs in the first place. Some of the components include counselling and addiction treatment, building stronger partnerships and referral processes between local agencies, and a public awareness program. The project was developed by the City of Toronto's Community Safety Secretariat, with support from the University of Toronto's Centre for Criminology.
“A meaningful approach to prevent and reduce crime must start with an intelligence-based, targeted enforcement approach, along with a strong community mobilization component, such as our effective Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, but it must build on TAVIS, to encompass government and community initiatives and involvement to be truly effective,” said Toronto Police Chief William Blair. “Today's announcement furthers the process of keeping Toronto a safe, vibrant, and diverse city.”
Funding announced today comes from the Youth Gang Prevention Fund, which is part of the Government of Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy. This Strategy provides funding support to projects that contribute to preventing and reducing crime as well as increasing knowledge about what works in crime prevention. Priorities for funding include:
- addressing early risk factors among vulnerable children and youth;
- preventing youth gang and drug-related crime;
- preventing recidivism among high-risk groups; and
- fostering crime prevention in Aboriginal communities.
Budget 2008 provides $30 million per year in additional, ongoing funds to the National Crime Prevention Strategy. These funds are in addition to the Strategy's permanent annual funding base of $33 million. The Strategy is administered by Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Centre and is managed in collaboration with the provinces and territories.
Public Safety Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety