Ottawa will spend $ 86 million to stem the flow of illegal arms into the country and fight the resurgence of gun violence.
The Canada Border Services Agency will receive 60% of this amount – $ 51.5 million over five years – to enhance its Detector Dog Service, which helps border officers detect drugs and firearms. The money announced Thursday will also be used to expand X-ray technology in postal sorting centers and air cargo facilities.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for its part, will receive $ 34.5 million over five years to improve its intelligence services to intercept more firearms smugglers and border smugglers.
This envelope is part of a $ 327 million commitment over five years – and $ 100 million annually thereafter – announced in November 2017 by the Liberal government to combat gun and gang crime.
According to the government, the Canada Border Services Agency seized 467 firearms in 2017, an increase of almost 19% from 2016.
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair, said public consultations on a possible ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada are ongoing, and he should report to the government by the end of the year.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has stated that gun violence and organized crime are serious issues in Canada, and that the Liberal government’s approach is focused on prevention, how to get members out of it and law enforcement: “to be smart against crime,” he says.
“It takes a multidimensional approach and we all have to work as a team in a consistent way,” said Mr. Goodale.
“We have to act within communities. We need stronger police interventions. Enhanced surveillance at the border is needed. This is a comprehensive and coherent plan, to which must be added legislative support including Bill C-71, “he added, referring to the Liberals’ Firearms Act. who always follows the adoption process in Parliament.
In what looked like a duel of press conferences on Thursday, the Conservatives tried to present their own gun and criminal gang measures as the most effective.
Conservatives want tougher sentences
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer unveiled his own platform to fight criminal gangs, including tougher penalties for their members.
Mr. Scheer wants more punitive measures against members of criminal groups. It wants to impose harsher sentences and limit parole and bail options for repeat and violent gang members.
“The Conservatives will take steps to help police target gang members more easily and put them behind bars where they need to be,” the opposition leader told reporters in Brampton, Ontario. . “We are going to put an end to the revolving door prison system and get those violent thugs out of the streets forever,” he said.
Andrew Scheer firmly rejected the idea of a ban on handguns, saying it would be more symbolic than concrete.
“It’s lazy governance to ask law-abiding people to comply with even more laws. It’s harder and harder to get the real criminals out of the streets, “said the Conservative leader.