Province investing in anti-gun-violence programs for youth in Hamilton and parts of Ontario

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Published July 27, 2021 at 4:32 pm

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The Province is launching 11 new community-based initiatives across Ontario to help prevent youth from becoming involved in gun violence, gang activity and victimization, including human trafficking.

These new intervention and prevention programs, which will be based out of Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Thunder Bay, Toronto and neighbouring Indigenous communities, are intended to help youth in these regions find meaningful alternatives to violence.

As part of this program, the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association in Hamilton will deliver a community-based program to prevent crime, violence and increase awareness and self-confidence through a “Rites of Passage” African-centred approach designed to help Black youth make empowering decisions that will lead to positive outcomes.

According to the Province, since 2013, nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of firearm-related cases at the Ontario Court of Justice involved accused persons who were under the age of 29 at the time of the offence.

Additionally, in 2016, 13 per cent of victims of violent crime in Ontario were youth and children, as were eight per cent of all victims of homicide and other offences causing death.

“Our government is working with communities across the province to support youth, reduce crime and make Ontario safer,” Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said in a news release.

“We know it’s critical to intervene early and provide youth with supports that address the root causes that make them susceptible to violence and victimization, including through human trafficking,” she continued. 

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