Public safety minister says 'unprecedented' announcement coming on Friday to tackle Montreal's gun problem

The Legault government is expected to announce funding and resources on Friday in response to the rise in gun violence and shootings in Montreal.

During question period on Wednesday morning, the official opposition criticized the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) for its inaction in the face of the increase in incidents and crimes involving firearms.

"There is hardly a week where gunshots don't ring out in a neighbourhood or a street," said Liberal MNA Frantz Benjamin.

"The feeling of anxiety, of insecurity, is at its peak in Montreal, Longueuil, Laval and in several other regions of Quebec," Benjamin said. "The escalation of violence continues. Quebec families can't take the shootings anymore."

He even alluded to the bloody biker war 25 years ago, which culminated in the death of a child and resulted in the RCMP setting up the "Carcajou" squad. 

"How many collateral victims would it take before it made political sense for this government to move forward?" Benjamin added. 

Guilbault replied that she would be making an important, even "unprecedented" announcement this week. 

According to information from a spokesperson, the government would allocate financial resources, but it was not possible to know the amount or scope of the resources.

"We are indeed concerned about this increase in violence," Guilbault said.

She noted that $5 million has been allocated to the Montreal police service's anti-gun trafficking team. Also, $65 million was allocated last year to fight organized crime and gun violence.

"It's obviously not enough, so on Friday morning, everyone, pay attention," she said.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 22, 2021.