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Doug Ford says he's coming after violent criminals in Toronto

When he's not calling out yahoos for having massive parties during a pandemic or making cheesecake, Doug Ford plans to be cracking down on violent offenders across Ontario.

The premier gave a message to the criminals behind the recent spate of shootings and other crimes in and around Toronto during his press briefing on Thursday: "We're coming after you, we'll throw the book at you and we're going to put you behind bars."

Ford cited the GTA tow truck turf war that has been ongoing for more than a year now, an increase in instances of domestic abuse, and the countless incidents of gun violence across the area, including the six that took place within less than 24 hours earlier this month.

In a time when populations are calling for police to be defunded, Ford's team is now allocating an additional $6 million to cops in 16 forces provincewide to help fight these types of crimes — however, the funds aren't coming from taxpayer dollars, but rather from criminals themselves.

Using money seized in major busts, the province will launch 21 new projects focused on stopping gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual and domestic assault over the next three years. This includes $300,000 to Durham Regional Police and $600,000 each to Toronto Police and York Regional Police for various initiatives.

"Too many of our young people are being recruited and preyed on by these gangs, too many of our young women and girls are preyed on by human traffickers. It's disgusting, and we're going to work with our police partners to intervene earlier and stop these heinous crimes," Ford said today.

This early intervention will include working with community stakeholders to build educational campaigns aimed at groups vulnerable to things like human trafficking, special trauma-informed training for frontline responders, additional community patrols, community "diversion" programming, and establishing new resources for victims.

The health crisis and months of lockdown apparently haven't tempered Toronto's notorious growing gun violence problem, with the city rocked by shootings in mall parking lots, at Airbnbsoutside popular hotels and on busy thoroughfares over the past few months.

In the last couple of days alone, a woman was injured in a daylight shooting on Queen West in Toronto, a man was shot and killed in Vaughan and another in Mississauga, a Richmond Hill resident was shot and robbed in his own driveway, another homicide took place in Oak Ridges and a drive-by shooting happened in Scarborough.

Lead photo by

Bruce Reeves


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