I am pleased with the Mayor’s new support for anti-violence prevention programs in the 2020 budget. In particular, his intention to support funding for the $635,000 needed to implement the Regent Park Social Development Plan (SDP).
I am proud to have advanced the SDP along with the residents of Regent Park. It was together with their help that we pushed for this pending budget outcome. Thank you to the community members who signed the petition and spoke at the Budget Committee to ensure the SDP was considered.
With the increase of violence in our communities, now more than ever, we need to address the root causes of guns and gang violence, with dedicated funding and resources to support young people. It’s important to invest in youth and communities with a focus on poverty reduction, education, and employment as key pillars to addressing and ending violence.
The additional investments in the 2020 budget, which include expanding the Community Crisis Response Grants, increasing youth spaces in Parks, Forestry and Recreation Facilities and resourcing the Regent Park Social Development Plan are all steps in the right direction.
My only regret is that Toronto residents had to endure another violent weekend involving gun violence before the Mayor’s announcement was made. This reinforces the need to be proactive and visionary when it comes to building resilient neighbourhoods.
Please continue to sign the Regent Park SDP petition to keep applying political pressure until the final vote is cast on February 19, 2020, at City Council. I look forward to working with my colleagues on City Council to approve these critical investments then.