OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his Liberals, if re-elected in an October ballot, will bring in tougher gun control measures following a spate of shootings in Toronto.
He stopped short, however, of promising a handgun ban called for by Toronto Mayor John Tory after 17 people were shot last holiday weekend, which brought the total number of shootings so far this year in Canada´s largest city to 267. The figure is up from 248 in the same period last year.
Although gun violence in Canada has been far less frequent and impactful than in the neighboring United States, it is still shaping up to be a major election issue with the Liberals and Conservatives — which support tougher penalties for gun crimes — running neck and neck in the polls.
Trudeau noted his government´s recent efforts to combat gun violence, including bringing in enhanced background checks, new record-keeping requirements for retailers, restrictions on transporting guns and measures to stem gun smuggling.
“We recognize that too many families across Toronto have suffered tragedies this summer from (gun) violence,” he said.