Frederic Lacroix-Couture, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Quebec will receive nearly $42 million from Ottawa to support local prevention and intervention projects to tackle the roots of gun and gang crime in municipalities and Indigenous communities .
The federal Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino, announced these new funds Thursday, in Montreal, at a time when the Quebec metropolis is again affected by events of armed violence.
“We must stop this violence before it starts. (…) The government is firmly convinced that any solution to violence linked to firearms and gangs must include prevention and intervention efforts,” he said at a press conference, accompanied by the Minister of Heritage. Canadian, Pablo Rodriguez.
The money must be used to reinforce the efforts deployed within the framework of the Quebec Strategy to Combat Violence Related to Firearms (CENTAURE). It will support community initiatives aimed at addressing the “root causes” associated with this type of crime and “providing young people with opportunities to make positive life choices,” Mendicino said.
“What we are aiming for here is through programs and organizations, to get young people out of the clutches of organized crime or violence through music and sport. The important thing is the promotion of young people, ”explained Mr. Rodriguez.
Minister Mendicino mentioned the importance of listening to the leaders of communities and organizations, because “it is they who understand where the risks exist, who know the young people, who understand the dynamics”.
The $41.8 million envelope will mainly target the ten largest cities in Quebec, with a larger share for Montreal and Laval, according to the distribution established by the Quebec government. The allocation of the amounts takes account in particular of the number of offenses per inhabitant.
Quebec has also begun discussions with the Kativik Regional Government in order to develop programs adapted to Nunavik, it is specified in a press release.
The Quebec Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, who was to attend the press conference, canceled her presence following the postponement of a few hours of the announcement. She nevertheless welcomed, in a press release, the agreement with the federal government, “which will make it possible to invest more to prevent our young people from being seduced by crime”.
In addition to investments through the Fund to Build Safe Communities, Ottawa recently tabled Bill C-21, which aims to tighten the framework surrounding firearms. The piece of legislation notably provides for imposing a national freeze on the purchase, sale, transfer and importation of handguns.
This dispatch was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta Exchanges and The Canadian Press for the news.