The NDP announced their plan to tackle gang violence in Canada on Sunday morning from British Columbia.
Leader Jagmeet Singh committed to invest $100 million over five years to fund after-school programs, sports and drop-in centres for youth across the country in an effort to keep them from joining gangs.
“Young people who’ve been left behind need someone on their side,” Singh said.
The party would also create an RCMP unit to deal with money laundering in an effort to de-fund organized crime.
The plan was developed through consultations with experts, he added. This announcement is the first step and Singh said the party would have more details over the coming weeks.
The number of gang-related homicides in Canada has increased over the past four years, from 523 in 2014 up to 651 in 2018, according to Statistics Canada.
Several major cities in the country have seen a spike in shootings and gang-related violence in the same time period.
The Liberal government created a minister for organized crime reduction in July 2018, charged with working to reduce gun violence and aiding the fight against organized crime. Bill Blair now fills that role.
The Conservatives have also proposed measures to address gangs in Canada.
Singh will host a town hall on youth violence Saturday night in B.C.
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