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City of Montreal allots $1.4M to support four boroughs fight recent gun violence

Click to play video: 'City of Montreal allocates $1.4 million to a pair of community groups in the North-East end of the city'
City of Montreal allocates $1.4 million to a pair of community groups in the North-East end of the city
City of Montreal allocates $1.4 million to a pair of community groups in the North-East end of the city – Mar 10, 2021

The City of Montreal is investing $1.4 million to support the boroughs of Montreal-Nord, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Saint-Leonard, and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension.

According to the city, the money will help community organizations to develop projects aimed at urban safety and improving the quality of life of the populations living in these neighbourhoods that have grappled with gun violence in the past few months.

The total will be split between community groups in each of the four boroughs. Montreal-Nord and Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles will recieve $400,000. Saint-Leonard and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension are expected to get $200,000 and an additional $200,000 will be dedicated to inter-borough collaborative initiatives to prevent crime.

Read more: Community fears new Montreal police anti-gun squad will not stop east end violence

Équipe RDP executive director Pierreson Vaval said they are expecting to receive a portion of the money, supporting the community group’s efforts to keep youth out of crime. He said the funds will allow for more focus on what he calls the source of the problem, youth aged 16-30.

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“It’s an age group that here in Quebec we don’t put on resources because we take for granted that when a youth is on his way to be an adult, that he is fit for the community,” he said.

He said it’s often the age group when youth who don’t feel like they fit into society turn to crime.

“It’s another challenge when you’re a young Black man, or immigrant, you need to have help you need to have support to be able to bear that challenge and succeed and take your place in the community.”

Read more: Montreal shooting victim identified as 15-year-old student Meriem Boundaoui

Referring to community groups as the key to reducing violent crimes and reconnecting with the population, Liberal MNA Paule Robitaille is calling for the provincial government to step in.

“To attack the problem to the core we need community groups and right now our community groups are not well funded and they don’t have the means to fight as they should the problems coming back in the east of Montreal.”

Vaval said more is always appreciated.

“We know what to do and we’re here, we know the community, we know the kids the problem is we don’t have enough people, enough hands, enough energy, enough equipment.”

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Click to play video: 'Montreal’s mayor and chief of police team up over gun violence'
Montreal’s mayor and chief of police team up over gun violence

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