Scheer prom­ises more fund­ing for po­lice

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - NATIONAL NEWS - TERESA WRIGHT

OT­TAWA — Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer is promis­ing more money for po­lice to com­bat gun and gang vi­o­lence and says he will au­dit Cana­dian jail pro­grams to make sure in­mates are ready to rejoin so­ci­ety when their sen­tences are up.

Scheer re­leased the third and fi­nal part of his pub­lic-safety pol­icy Mon­day.

He said he has heard from Cana­di­ans who are con­cerned about a surge in gun vi­o­lence this year and be­lieves the best way to ad­dress these con­cerns is to bet­ter equip po­lice with the tools they need to do their jobs.

“Cana­di­ans are more and more wor­ried about the safety of their streets. My plan for a safer Canada will re­store Cana­di­ans’ faith in the sys­tem once again,” Scheer said in Win­nipeg.

Scheer is promis­ing new fund­ing and grants for po­lice, stronger back­ground checks for peo­ple seek­ing gun li­cences and a 25-per­cent boost to the youth gang-pre­ven­tion fund.

The Con­ser­va­tive leader says he will also au­dit the $60 mil­lion spent ev­ery year on pris­oner joband skills-train­ing pro­grams to mea­sure their ef­fec­tive­ness. Scheer an­nounced the first two parts of his pub­lic-safety plan last month, in which he out­lined more puni­tive mea­sures for mem­bers of gangs and crime or­ga­ni­za­tions. He has also taken a strong stance against the push for a hand­gun ban com­ing from some of Canada’s largest cities, in­clud­ing Toronto, which is hav­ing its dead­li­est year for shoot­ings since 1991.

Ban­ning hand­guns would pe­nal­ize law-abid­ing gun own­ers, Scheer has said, and in­stead he’s pro­mot­ing pol­icy ideas that tar­get crim­i­nals who use weapons il­le­gally. But the Lib­er­als say the Con­ser­va­tive ‘guns and gangs’ poli­cies du­pli­cate many ini­tia­tives al­ready an­nounced by the Trudeau gov­ern­ment as part of its own $327-mil­lion plan, which is also aimed at com­bat­ing gun smug­gling into Canada.

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