Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

April 02, 2009 14:15 ET

Statement: Minister Van Loan Salutes Guns and Gangs Crackdown by Police

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 2, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, today issued the following statement after a series of police raids were launched yesterday in the Greater Toronto Area as part of a concentrated effort to rid our communities of illegal activities involving gang-related crime.

"I would like to express my appreciation to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, the Toronto Police Service and their partners including the RCMP, for their excellent work in arresting alleged gang members and confiscating illegal guns and drugs. Their contribution makes a significant impact in combating gangs, and keeping illegal guns and drugs out of our communities.

The Government of Canada has undertaken a series of steps to combat organized crime and make communities safe. Recently, legislation has been introduced in the House of Commons to impose mandatory jail terms for drug crimes, and new laws that would help fight organized crime.

The Government has taken several other steps in its fight against violence associated with gangs, and illegal guns and drugs include:

- Over 1,000 new RCMP

- A Police Officers Recruitment Fund

- The expansion of programs to prevent youth from joining gangs

- Mandatory prison sentences for gun crimes.

Our Government is giving our police the tools they need to tackle crime, and yesterday's arrests have made our communities a safer place. We must send a strong message to organized crime that this type of illegal activity, which comes at the expense of law-abiding citizens, will not be tolerated," said Van Loan.

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