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T.O. meeting seeks to curb gun violence
CTV.ca News Staff, CTV.ca, 30-Aug-2005

On Monday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair blasted the courts after police arrested and charged a 23-year-old man with possessing a loaded handgun.  The man was on bail after having been previously charged with carrying a gun.


T.O. meeting seeks to curb gun violence

CTV.ca News Staff
CTV.ca
30-Aug-2005


Justice Minister Irwin Cotler addresses the media Tuesday after meeting with Toronto Mayor David Miller to discuss solutions to the recent wave of gun violence in the city.

Ottawa The gun violence plaguing Toronto was a topic of discussion between the city's mayor and the federal justice minister Tuesday.

Justice Minister Irwin Cotler met Toronto Mayor David Miller to discuss the possibility of bringing back pre-trial diversions.

The diversions allow young offenders to do community service instead of applying for bail or awaiting trial in jail.

Cotler said the programs would help rehabilitate youths at risk and reintegrate them into society.

Miller said if investments are made in providing job opportunities to teens before they "get involved in the gun and gang culture," that will reduce crime.


Justice Minister Justice Minister Irwin Cotler with Toronto Mayor David Miller during a meeting in Toronto on Tuesday.



A policeman sections off the crime scene where a man was shot Thursday night in a wave of gun violence across Toronto.

"We are working very hard to prevent young people from getting involved in gun culture," Miller told a news conference.

Miller and Cotler looked at solutions to stem the gun violence including better resources at the border to control the flow of handguns to Toronto.

They also discussed the possibility of extra federal funding for youth education programs.

Miller told reporters after the meeting that there's only one reason people have illegal guns and the law needs to reflect that.

"If you're arrested for possession of an illegal gun, you should be treated exactly the same way as if the weapon were used," he said. "There's only one reason to have an illegal gun, it's to shoot people."

The discussions come after a rash of shootings in Canada's largest city.

There have been 48 murders in Toronto this year 32 of which were committed by guns.

As of August 15, Toronto police have seized 1,265 firearms.

On Monday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair blasted the courts after police arrested and charged a 23-year-old man with possessing a loaded handgun.

The man was on bail after having been previously charged with carrying a gun.

© Bell Globemedia Inc.  2005

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