Toronto Mayor John Tory and Bill Blair, the federal minister in charge of organized crime reduction, are announcing new funding to stop young people from joining gangs.
Blair said the federal government will send $6.7 million to the city over a five year span for a program that aims to address the root causes of youth violence. That program, dubbed the Community Healing Project, will include funding to have 250 youth work with other young people who are vulnerable to joining gangs.
«The sad reality is that our youth are the perfect, vulnerable targets to enter this type of life when they seek out recognition and self-worth,» said Blair, who previously served as Toronto’s police chief.
Blair added this issue is not just prevalent in big cities, noting some 7,000 Canadian youth are involved in gangs across the country.
Ottawa will also provide $400,000 to the Toronto Police Service as the force transitions to more neighbourhood-level policing.
«I believe most sincerely that cops count and make a difference,» Blair said.