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Toronto Mayor John Tory calls on Ottawa to curtail illegal gun smuggling

Tory suggested guns being smuggled north into Canada from the U.S. could be to blame for a spike in shootings in Toronto this year.

Mayor John Tory.

Torstar News Service

Mayor John Tory.

As police investigate the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman in Toronto, Mayor John Tory is calling on the federal government to stem the tide of illegal handguns entering Canada from the United States.

“We know that approximately half of the illegal guns seized by police are being smuggled across the border from the United States. This is alarming and unacceptable. We cannot allow our city to be taken hostage by the by-products of American gun culture,” Tory said in a statement Thursday.

The mayor’s comments came after he met with residents of the Jamestown neighbourhood where 35-year-old Candice Rochelle Bobb was shot Sunday night.

Bobb was five months pregnant. She died in hospital, but her infant child was delivered via emergency Caesarian section and is reportedly in stable condition.

“When I visited Jamestown where the shooting occurred, parents told me they were afraid to let their children play outside. That’s not acceptable in our city,” Tory said.

Earlier this month, Toronto police reported gun homicides are up 200 per cent this year over 2015.

According to the mayor, police have already seized 250 guns this year. He said police will “redouble” their efforts, but noted law enforcement is fighting an uphill battle against guns being smuggled across the border.

Tory said he’ll be meeting with federal Minister Ralph Goodale to discuss the issue.

“Whether it’s investing in new technologies, increasing enforcement at the border or working with our American counterparts, we need to do more to stem the flow of illegal weapons into Canada. We will do whatever we can to help,” he said. 

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