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August 3, 2018

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.

Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

On your recent visit to Toronto you said that one of our single greatest responsibilities as
elected officials is ensuring public safety and you know I wholeheartedly agree.

One of the purposes of your visit was to pay respects to those affected by the violence that
has afflicted our city in recent weeks. I also know from our discussions and your public
statements that your government wants to work with the City of Toronto to help address
gun crime. As you know, this violence is taking lives, leaving families and our communities
devastated as they look for answers and actions, some of which must come from us.

I am pleased with the fact our two governments are working together to invest in
communities – in young people, in families and in neighbourhoods – to help set positive
directions and help keep vulnerable youth away from guns and gangs, which are the cause
of so much of this violence. These investments are crucially important to Toronto and I
appreciate the personal assurance you gave me that the applications listed below will have
your support to the maximum extent possible.

Beyond those important initiatives, I would ask again as you have heard me ask publicly
before: why does anyone in the city of Toronto need a gun? I think this is an important
question worth asking and, frankly, if we don't have a good answer for that question then
it’s time we do something about it.


I write to you today as the Mayor but also as a father and grandfather who has met with
families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. I believe it is my job to try to
comfort them and express our city's collective sorrow for their loss. But I also believe it is
my job to seek action, it is my job to make sure we don't just talk about banning handguns
and strengthening our laws but that we actually ban handguns and we actually strengthen
those laws.

We have taken action at City Hall. Toronto City Council recently considered the issue of gun
violence in Toronto with the goal of identifying immediate steps to address gun violence in
the city. We discussed in depth both prevention and intervention strategies to deal with
this urgent issue, and identified strategies in three key areas - community investments,
police resourcing and gun control – that we are asking the federal government to work
with us on. As referenced above, this includes immediate requests through the National
Crime Prevention Strategy call for applications and we look forward to other programs
including financial commitments under the federal Initiative to Take Action Against Guns
and Gangs which is currently being developed.

Specifically City Council has requested:

Community Investment

 Federal funding of $1.05 million in 2018 to immediately implement the City's Youth
Violence Prevention initiatives and expand the City's Community Crisis Response

 Federal funding of $29.0 million over five years (2019-2024) for additional and ongoing
investment in community violence intervention and prevention programming,
including programs focused on youth violence and mental health.

 Federal or provincial funding of up to $2.6 million to implement measures in the City's

Youth Equity Strategy to address the roots of youth violence.

Police Resourcing

 Federal or provincial funding of up to $15 million to support enforcement initiatives

such as increased CCTV cameras and enhanced security in local communities most
impacted by gun violence.

Ban Guns and Control Access

 Ban the sale of handguns in the City of Toronto.

 Identify how to stop the free flow of illegal guns along the United States border into

Improve Federal Legislation

 Enact or amend federal legislation to:

 include tougher penalties -- including mandatory-minimum sentences -- for gun
 direct more resources to tackle domestic firearm trafficking, specifically targeting
large single purchasers of firearms;
 implement tougher screening for mental health and intimate partner violence issues
for licensed gun owners and those seeking to acquire firearm permits;
 much tougher procedures to help control guns coming into Canada along the
American and Canadian border; and
 failing a handgun ban, create gun repositories, through a private-public partnership,
that require all long and hand guns to be locked up and only retrieved if and where
there is a need for hunting or going to the range for target practice.

 Specifically strengthen proposed gun control legislation in Bill C-71, by:

 restoring the 1977 controls on the sale of unrestricted firearms including requiring
gun dealers to record firearms sales and allowing police to inspect records annually;
 creating more stringent transport provisions for restricted firearms to limit
transport outside of direct transfers between their place of storage and approved
destination; and
 prohibiting the availability, sale, possession and use of handguns, assault rifles and
semi-automatic firearms in Canada with some exceptions for the Armed Forces,
police services or other entities that are authorized through municipal, provincial or
federal legal obligations.

City Council is seeking to understand how the federal government can support efforts to
deter or reduce gun and gang violence in Toronto and how federal funding will assist the
City in eradicating gun violence in Toronto. City Council's full decision can be accessed at:

Bail Provisions

Beyond City Council's discussion this week, I would also like to draw attention to the easy
availability of bail for repeat gun offenders which in City Council's view must be addressed.
City Council's full decision can be accessed at:

I have heard from frontline constables and our Police Chief how frustrated they are by the
fact someone they arrest for a gun crime who already had a criminal record or similar
offences or who was already out on bail on a similar charge, can almost immediately be
back out on the street on bail.


The focus of this ask is on repeat offenders. I believe first-time offenders have the best
possibility for our diversion and rehabilitation programs to help them out of the gang
lifestyle and become contributing members of our society and bail might well be
appropriate for them in some cases.

We ask that the federal government conduct a complete and expeditious review of bail
guidelines and procedures applied to those already on bail, previously convicted of
offenses involving the possession or use of illegal firearms, or previously convicted of the
use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. We want to ensure that repeat gun offenders
not be granted bail in the event of a subsequent gun charge and remain in custody until the
charges have been disposed of by the judicial system.

Toronto City Council and I endorsed all of these measures because we need a wide variety
of the strongest methods possible to deal with gun violence in our city.

I believe now is the time for all of us to take action to stop gun violence. I assure you that I
am ready to support the federal government in taking action on this issue.

If we do focus on the question of “why does anyone in Toronto need a gun?” I believe we
will conclude that they don’t and we can then move forward with measures, such as the
above not with a view to making life more difficult except for criminals, and with the
primary objective of saving lives.

Thank you for your consideration of these requests to help us send a message that gun
violence is absolutely unacceptable in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada. Thank you, as well,
to you and your government for your co-operation and assistance to date and for your
stated willingness to look at a full range of options.


John Tory
Mayor of Toronto

c. The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,
Government of Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction,
Government of Canada
Giuliana Carbone, Interim City Manager, City of Toronto