MEDIA ADVISORY: Toronto Elected Officials and Gun Control Advocates Make Urgent Call to Federal Government of Canada for a National Ban on Handguns

November 11, 2019 (Toronto, ON) -  The need to immediately address the root cause of violence and stem the proliferation of handguns are urgent. According to Statistics Canada, the number of firearm homicides has increased for the fourth consecutive year, by 103% in four years, with the current rate representing the highest rate observed in Canada since 1992. The number of handguns in Canada has more than doubled since 2012 (from 465,000 to 935,000), accounting for approximately 24% of all homicides in the country. 

In the 2019 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada pledged they would empower cities to "further restrict" or outright ban handguns as part of a bigger plan to curb gun violence. While they committed to banning assault weapons, they have chosen to leave the burden of banning handguns to municipalities, who have little ability to realistically enforce a municipal handgun ban. 

Join gun control advocates, community leaders and Toronto elected officials to urge the Government of Canada for a national prohibition on the import, possession and sale of handguns and semi-automatic military-style assault weapons, to adopt a public health lens and commit significant funding to ensure community safety by addressing the systemic causes of violence. This press conference takes place immediately ahead of Toronto’s Board of Health meeting, where the report, "Community Violence in Toronto - A Public Health Approach" is the first item on the agenda. 

When:   Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 9:00 AM
Where:  Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Outside Committee Room 1, A Street Reception


  • Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 13, Toronto Centre and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
  • Chris Glover, Member of Provincial Parliament, Spadina—Fort York
  • Dr. Wendy Cukier, Founder and President, Coalition for Gun Control
  • Ken Price and Claire Smith, Danforth Families for Safe Communities  
  • Sureya Ibrahim, Community Organizer, Regent Park’s Mothers of Peace
  • Dr. Colin Sue-Chue-Lam, Doctors For Protection From Guns 

Interviews available upon request. Media contact: Lisa Hoffman, [email protected]; 416-392-7903

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