Statement on Gun and Gang Violence

Published on September 17, 2020

Early last Tuesday morning the community of south Etobicoke was shaken by a heinous act of violence. 80-gun shots were fired, and one man was hospitalized with serious injuries in a gang-related shooting which produced so many gun casings that the police ran out of evidence tags. When I visited the site of the shootings, to speak with business owners I was shocked to see a daycare right across the street.

This is not an isolated incident, unfortunately Ontario is facing a real and growing problem with guns and gang violence. Firearm-related deaths are at record-high levels and other types of firearm-related violence is also on the rise.
More troubling is that 80 percent of guns being used in crime are obtained by illegal means, including coming from across the boarder. When these guns get in the hands of gangs, violence is almost certain to follow. The police are working hard doing their job but we need to see the federal government introduce tougher penalties including mandatory-minimum sentences for gun traffickers and people in possession of illegal firearms.

As the Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General, I am proud of our Government’s work along with the federal government and local partners to launch our multi-year Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy which takes a comprehensive approach to public safety addressing prevention, intervention and enforcement.

Illegal possession and use of handguns and assault weapons is a serious concern for all of us, let’s work together to reduce gun and gang violence in Ontario. We must keep our communities safe.