Liberal measures on gun control will be shared during election campaign: Trudeau
Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:17AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2:09PM EDT
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will consider additional gun control measures, but voters will have to wait for the Liberals' election platform to learn about his specific plans on the issue.
Trudeau appeared alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday touting recent efforts to curb rising gun violence in the city.
On Monday, Tory announced that the municipal, provincial and federal governments were each providing $1.5 million in additional funding to city police, who have been grappling with a growing number of shootings in recent years.
Tory has also been asking Ottawa to implement a ban on handguns.
The prime minister has frequently highlighted recently passed gun-control legislation that extended the scope of background checks and strengthened record-keeping requirements for gun retailers.
On Tuesday, he said Canadians will learn more about the Liberals' plans on gun control during the upcoming campaign.
"I very much look forward to the election campaign in which we will be able to share with Canadians our vision for how to keep Canadians safer," Trudeau said. "That involves, yes, strengthening gun control but it also involves investments that ... are so deeply needed in community infrastructure."
Trudeau also suggested that the Liberals would be able to make progress on the issue if they were re-elected.
"We look forward to the very next time Parliament is sitting, hopefully under a Liberal government, where we will be able to introduce further measures to strengthen measures against guns," he said.
He urged Ontario Premier Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative government to make more funding available for such efforts as well, one of his many recent attacks against the provincial government.
Ford has said Ontario is developing a strategy to "dismantle gangs once and for all," but has not provided details.
The federal Conservatives have offered up their own plans to address public safety concerns and have accused the Liberals of policies that "senselessly target law-abiding gun owners."
The Conservative platform includes promises to create new sentences for violent gang crime, create a firearms smuggling task force and new funding to fight gangs.
Toronto's issues with gun violence were recently pushed into the spotlight when officers responded to 14 separate incidents across the city over the August long weekend in which 17 people were injured. Police have said the majority of those incidents were gang-related.
Tory began calling for additional government support after the rash of shootings and praised his counterparts in higher levels of government for heeding his requests.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has said he welcomes the additional money to fight gun crime, but has not yet announced how it will be spent. Those plans are expected to be unveiled in the coming days.