BGC Canada is calling on the Ontario Government to pass Bill 60, Safe and Healthy Communities Act (Addressing Gun Violence). The Bill, brought forward by MPP Mitzie Hunter, seeks to ensure supports for community-based violence intervention programs and trauma-informed counselling for survivors and victims affected by gun violence.
Greater stress from social isolation due to the pandemic, including the cancellation of extracurricular activities and in-class learning, has contributed to the alarming rise in youth involved in criminal activity in 2021 and 2022. Already this year, one third of homicides in the city of Toronto involve victims or accused individuals who are under the age of 20. BGC Canada encourages all members of the Ontario legislature to act now in supporting Bill 60 to help prevent youth-related violence and gang-related activity and ensure victims of gun violence and their families are provided with necessary supports and resources.
BGC Clubs are often located in communities where youth are at risk. We know that investing in youth crime prevention and trauma-informed support at organizations like BGC Clubs gives young people more access to mental health aid, mentorship, employment and skills training, safe places to connect with peers and caring adults, and so much more. Fewer crimes mean fewer victims, reduced costs for taxpayers, and safer and healthier communities for all families in Canada.