Gun and gang violence that plagues Mississauga a concern, mayor says


Published August 23, 2023 at 2:26 pm

An increase in violent crime and deaths in Mississauga has “shaken” the mayor of Canada’s seventh-largest city, but she’s optimistic that both strong policing and cash from Ottawa will help keep a lid on the problem.

“I am quite shaken by what I’ve seen,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie told publisher Khaled Iwamura in an interview last week that’s been posted to Twitter (see below).

In the last several years, particularly in 2022 and again so far this year, gun and gang violence in addition to domestic disputes that have led to deaths have been on the rise in Mississauga.

Specifically, violent incidents are happening with much greater frequency in areas such as west/northwest Mississauga (Streetsville, Meadowvale) and, to a lesser degree, Port Credit.

One month ago, a woman was murdered inside her Port Credit apartment in an incident that shook area residents. Peel Regional Police have made an arrest in the case.

Back in May, two people were seriously injured after being shot in the area of Bristol and Creditview Rds.

Police are still seeking the shooter or shooters in that incident, which occurred in an area of the city plagued by gun violence and deaths last year.

The rise in violence comes as Mississauga approaches, officially, the one million mark in population. Unofficially, many believe that figure has already been achieved.

Crombie, whose days as Mississauga mayor may be numbered if she’s successful in her bid for the Ontario Liberal leadership, said increased crime is an issue both in Mississauga and beyond.

“Of course that’s very concerning, in every municipality,” the mayor began, adding she’s particularly unsettled by the “…isolated incidents of violence that Peel Regional Police have investigated and tell me (were) not random, but specifically targeted; sometimes, in some cases, it was a domestic incident and others it was a very brutal targeted (killing).

“But the good news,” Crombie continued, “is that we have very dedicated Peel Regional Police (and) their solvency rate is higher than the provincial average…and they have made arrests in many of these cases.”

Additionally, she noted, a $400-million investment from the federal government announced earlier this year to fight gun and gang violence should help address the problem.

Of that money, $121 million is going to Ontario municipalities.

The cash is expected to beef up border services in order to stem the flow of illegal guns coming into Canada, particularly Ontario, from the U.S.

“So, there has been additional funding provided to deal with guns and gangs, particularly to stop guns crossing the border, which is one of the most critical issues,” said Crombie.

The funding will also support and strengthen “underfunded social intervention programs” that will both prevent youths from joining gangs and allow them strategies to exit gangs once they’re in, she added.

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