The federal public safety minister visited Montreal hours after police shot and killed a man they believe was involved in a killing spree to make an announcement about increased money for the battle against gun violence in Quebec.
The Building Safer Communities Fund will receive $41.8 million from the Canadian government, Minister Marco Mendicino revealed on Thursday (BSCF). The funds will support regional Indigenous communities and local businesses who focus on street gang and gun crime prevention and intervention programmes.
“We all know that we cannot arrest our way out of the problems that are in our streets and are in our communities and that’s why … we’re zeroing in on the root causes of gun violence,” Mendicino said, alongside Quebec’s Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault and Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez.
The news follows the shooting and death by police of a man in a motel who was suspected of being responsible for three seemingly random homicides that occurred in the Montreal area over the space of around 24 hours. On Thursday, the minister was supposed to give a statement at 8:45, but that time was changed to 11 a.m. Two men, ages 64 and 48, passed just 65 minutes apart on Tuesday evening in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent and Ahuntsic-Cartierville neighborhoods. On Wednesday night, a third man was shot and died on a Laval street less than twenty-four hours later.
The $250 million BSCF was announced by the federal government in March. The additional financing for Quebec will support the CENTAURE strategy of the provincial government to reduce gun crime in the province. Two factors determine funding: the seriousness of the crime, and population density. According to a news release, Quebec is giving Montreal and Laval priority when it comes to the new money. Employees at Espace Jeunesse, where the grant was announced and where they engage with at-risk adolescents, said it will have a “direct impact” on their outreach initiatives.