NDP MPs Call for Crackdown on Smuggling and Ramped-Up Support for Youth Gang Prevention
June 28, 2012
TORONTO – New Democrats urged the federal government today to play a leadership role in combating urban gun violence. NDP MPs Andrew Cash and Olivia Chow made their comments in the wake of a series of shootings that have unsettled Toronto communities in recent weeks.
“Toronto is not a dangerous place. But we have to admit that illegal guns on our streets are a major problem here and families are worried,” said Cash, the MP for Davenport. “Unfortunately, while the Conservatives’ crime agenda could cost billions, it hasn’t made Toronto’s streets and communities any safer.”
Cash also expressed concerns about recent Conservative cuts to Border Services and the impact they might have on illegal gun smuggling.
“Smuggled guns account for about half of all guns recovered from crimes in large Canadian cities. But the Conservatives are recklessly cutting back on the frontline officers who stop the spread of guns –including eliminating 60 positions right here in Toronto,” added Cash.
Chow added that with an estimated 11,000 street gang members in Canada today, it’s time to take youth gang activity seriously and invest in youth programs.
“Successful anti-gang programs such as MY Regent Park are being terminated by the Conservatives because of a flawed funding model,” said Chow, who represents the riding of Trinity-Spadina.
“Without ongoing, stable funding, the Conservatives aren’t giving these programs a chance.”
Chow and Cash, along with the rest of the NDP Toronto team, will spend the summer consulting with citizens and community groups about their ideas for making sure our streets and communities are safe.