McGuinty Government Investing Over $12 Million To Target Criminals
Next Step In Guns And Gangs Strategy
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today said his government is doing its part to make communities safer by providing more resources to target guns and gangs, marijuana grow operations, crystal methamphetamine labs and other criminal activities.
"We all want to keep our communities safe from guns and gangs -- that's why we joined together last year to be tough on gun crime and tough on the root causes of gun crime," said Premier McGuinty. "Now, we're building on that work by going after more gangs in more communities and targeting criminal operations like drug labs and grow-ops."
The McGuinty government is investing $6.3 million to expand a successful anti-guns and gangs and anti-violence intervention program to several communities outside of Toronto. Police services in the Golden Horseshoe, Essex County, Durham, Kenora, London, Ottawa, Peel, Thunder Bay, Waterloo and York Region will receive provincial funding to set up programs modeled on Toronto's experience.
The Premier was joined at the announcement by Attorney General Michael Bryant and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monte Kwinter.
"Ontario's organized justice approach means the McGuinty government is working with police, prosecutors and local communities to do everything possible to fight gun violence," said Bryant. "We are united with a comprehensive approach to make our communities safer and get guns off our streets."
"This initiative, along with the other steps we are taking, supports the government's commitment to safer communities by being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime," said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter. "We are delivering the real, positive change that will make Ontario strong, healthy and prosperous."
Today's announcement also includes:
- A Crystal Methamphetamine Elimination Project to target criminal organizations that produce it
- Increasing the capacity of the Office of the Fire Marshal to investigate fires and explosions from methamphetamine labs and marijuana operations
- Creating a Provincial Advisory Group on Marijuana Grow Operations, and
- Enhancing the capacity of the Ontario Provincial Police, working with municipal police services, to identify, locate, seize and forfeit the illegal gains from criminal organizations.
These initiatives build upon the government's $51-million Guns and Gangs Strategy that was announced in 2006. Other measures undertaken by the McGuinty government to make communities safer have included:
- Completing the Safer Communities -- 1,000 Officer Partnership Program, a $37.1 million investment
- Creating the $28.5-million Youth Opportunities Strategy to help young people faced with challenges achieve success
- Funding a $26-million Operations Centre for the Guns and Gangs Task Force -- the first of its kind in North America.
"Tackling gun crimes is a complex challenge -- and criminal gangs are always adapting and evolving -- so we're giving our police services the resources they need," said Premier McGuinty. "Our strategy is making progress but we need to keep up the pressure by being tough on gun crime, targeting gangs and providing young people with good choices."