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13 August 2018 at 10:08 BST

Ontario premier announces C$7.6 million to fund 'legal SWAT teams'

Increasing gun violence leads to political action to create 'legal SWAT teams' led by a crown attorney, but lawyers casts doubts.


After another weekend of gun violence in Canada, the Ontario premier Doug Ford announced C$7.6 million to fund 'legal SWAT teams' to be installed in each provincial courthouse in Toronto.

SWAT teams

The SWAT teams are part of a C$25 million package to help the provincial government to combat gang and gun violence. In a statement, the provincial government explained ‘each team will be led by a Crown Attorney with the mandate to focus exclusively on ensuring violent gun criminals are denied bail and remain behind bars. These teams will be further supported by a new team of bail compliance officers who will focus their attention exclusively on ensuring that those gun criminals who are out on bail are not violating any of the terms of their release.’

Lawyers doubtful

Mr Ford says law enforcement officials are ‘frustrated that their hands are tied.’ adding people ‘have had enough and people are just sick of it…they are sick of all the city councillors, activists and special interests, who use each shooting as an excuse to campaign for more spending, and more levels of bureaucracy and more hand-outs and more pet projects. [They’re] throwing more money at programs that have nothing to do with community safety.’ Among the lawyers casting doubts is Michael Lacy, partner at Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP and president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, who told the Canadian lawyer there are already specialized Crowns that deal with guns and gangs, including serious gun cases.


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