Tory reaches out to Trudeau for tougher gun laws in Toronto

The ever growing gun issue in Toronto has prompted Mayor John Tory to reach out to the highest office in the land for help. 

The mayor's office has released details of a four-page letter Tory sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Friday, asking the PM for help in getting tough with gun violence through banishment and stricter laws.

"We've asked the Prime Minister - consistent with what he told me they were going to do - for our support on community investments for families and kids, but also to really look hard at the question 'why does anybody in the city of Toronto need a handgun?'" Tory told NEWSTALK1010 Monday afternoon. "They've indicated they're willing to consider a ban on handguns in the city of Toronto - which is all we're asking for to try and keep people safer."

The letter reads, in part 'I write to you today as the Mayor but also as a father and grandfather who has met with families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. I believe it is my job to try to comfort them and express our city's collective sorrow for their loss. But I also believe it is my job to seek action, it is my job to make sure we don't just talk about banning handguns and strengthening our laws but that we actually ban handguns and we actually strengthen those laws.'

Tory also asked for added money from both the Feds and the province of Ontario to the tune of $47 million, including $29 million over the next five years (2019-2024) to aid community violence intervention and prevention programs, that focus on youth violence and mental health.In addition, he wants to see $15 million geared towards enhanced security in communities impacted by gun violence.

"When I met with him, he indicated that if we put forward the applications - which we've done - for the community investments to help keep the kids and families on the right path, that that could be dealt with fairly expeditiously," Tory told NEWSTALK1010, explaining that the letter is more of a formality to record conversations the two had during Trudeau's recent visits to Toronto.

In the letter, Tory also outlined the actions recently taken by City Council in the areas of community investments, police resourcing and gun control. City Council is asking the federal government to work with City Hall on these areas. 

'I believe now is the time for all of us to take action to stop gun violence,' he wrote. 'I assure you that I am ready to support the federal government in taking action on this issue.' 

The bottom line for Tory is the full banishment of the sale of hand guns in the city of Toronto and to punish repeat offenders harder for their actions.

"I'm just encouraged by the noises they're making about taking a look at a gun ban, which previous governments have not been willing to look at," he told NEWSTALK1010. "I'm encouraged by the positive response they've given to our applications for community investments in famillies and kids, and we're just going to keep pushing because I want this city to be safe. 

"I want to do everything we can to make sure that happens and they're an integral part of this together with the province."

- with files from the Mayor's office, Claude Feig and Jackie Rosen