Cash from feds to get ‘guns designed for the battlefield’ off Mississauga, Brampton streets

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Published May 8, 2023 at 10:51 am

Mississauga, Brampton and other cities across Ontario are stepping up efforts to fight gun crimes and gang violence–including getting “guns designed for the battlefield” off the street–with $121 million in new funding from the federal government.

At a press conference this morning (May 8) outside Peel Regional Police headquarters in Mississauga, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said “the status quo isn’t acceptable” and that the delivery of the new cash is intended to turn the tide in favour of police across the GTA, Ontario and Canada as they continue the battle against illegal guns and gang crime and violence.

The $121 million for Ontario communities is part of a $390-million investment across Canada. Ottawa will provide the funding over the next five years to bolster law enforcement and crime prevention initiatives.

“The folks who live in Mississauga and Brampton deserve to feel safe and be safe (like all people across Canada) when they go to work, take their kids to school…” and to the park, and go on with their daily lives, Mendicino told the gathering, which also included Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah and several Mississauga politicians.

“We have our work cut out for us and the government of Canada is tackling this head-on,” the minister continued, adding a key focus will be on getting automatic weapons off the street. “These are guns designed for the battlefield and they have no place in our communities.”

Mendicino noted that a record 1,100 illegal guns have been seized by authorities at the border in the past year.

He said Canada’s plan to defeat gun crime and gang violence consists of three main pillars:

  • strong borders
  • strong laws and enforcement
  • strong prevention

“We’re making solid progress on all of these fronts,” Mendicino said, adding much more needs to be done.

He said recent signed agreements between Canada and the U.S. will help police here trace more illegal guns and create more joint enforcement operations.

In addition, the minister said, more money has been given to the Canada Border Services Agency the last two years.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino shown earlier this year at a press conference in west Mississauga where money was announced for Mississauga and Brampton to implement measures to fight guns and gang violence.

The funding program unveiled Monday is a renewal of the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, a federal crime prevention program first announced in 2017.
According to Statistics Canada (2022), firearm-related violent crime has been steadily on the rise in recent years.

In February of this year, Mendicino was in Mississauga to deliver $8.1 million in federal funding to help both Mississauga and Brampton offer programs and services to nip gun crime and gang violence in the bud.

That cash investment was unveiled at a press conference at Churchill Meadows Community Centre and Mattamy Sports Park in the city’s west end.

The location was in a part of Mississauga that was plagued by gun violence in 2022.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told those in attendance in February that the funding announcement is significant as it seeks to address the root causes of gun crime in Peel before it occurs.

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