Ralph Goodale was in Surrey, British Columbia, to announce the Trudeau government’s first step in their “guns and gangs” election promise. Following through on the Trudeau government’s election promises of increasing funding for anti-guns and gang task forces and policing, Goodale announced $327.6 million over the next five years in an effort to help police departments across the country fight organized crime. At the completion of this five years, that funding level will increase to the $100 million annually promised by the Trudeau government during the last election.
Goodale announced that the government will also “bring together experts, practitioners, front-line personnel, and decision makers for a Summit on Criminal Guns and Gangs in March 2018. The Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit will be an unprecedented national summit on challenges, solutions and best practices in the fight against gun crime and in combating the deadly effects of gangs and illegal guns in communities across Canada. The government hopes to hear from key stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, community and mental health organizations, Indigenous groups, government and non-governmental organizations.”
This summit will dictate much of the manner in how this new funding will be allocated and spent, and while the Minister was unable to provide complete details on how the money will specifically be spent, he did provide the following priorities that will be addressed by the summit. These include:
• prevention, defined as efforts to “intercept young people lured into gang activity.”
• enforcement in the form of increased numbers of and support for integrated enforcement teams.
• specific special projects such as gun and gang activity in smaller rural areas that are distinct from the problems faced by more urban settings.
• increased training for police officers.
• research on how to dislodge young people from gangs.
• interdiction of illegal firearms at the border and greater cooperation between law enforcement entities so border agents can be better informed of incoming illegal shipments.
The government’s full press release can be found here.