June 22, 2016

Canada invests in jobs in effort to curb gun crime

The Canadian government is providing $600,000 of funding for jobs in Toronto, in an attempt to tackle a rise in gun violence in the city.

The federal government will invest the money in the Canada Summer Jobs program, which provides funding for small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and public-sector employers to create jobs for 15- to 30-year-olds.

An additional 100 jobs will be created by the government funding, mainly in at-risk neighbourhoods in the north-west of Toronto.

The investment was announced by the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, along with Liberal Party MPs and city councilors, at a press conference on Monday. They said the funding would be implemented from next week.

The government hopes that the additional job opportunities will help to reduce gun violence in Toronto, which has seen almost 200 shooting incidents so far this year.

Mayor Tory commented that: “While this will change lives and help the challenges that face these communities, it will not be an answer. Like I’ve seen in the past, there is no magic wand that’s going to be waved by anybody or any government to solve this overnight, but we can do certain things like this to help in the short term.”

The idea that job opportunities help prevent youth crime is discussed by Torben Tranaes in his IZA World of Labor article on active labor market policies. He writes that: “Unemployed young men commit less crime when they are enrolled in active labor market programs than when they are not. This relationship suggests that unemployment leads to more crime not only because of the drop in income, but also because inactivity in itself is bad.”

Related articles:
Active labor market policies and crime by Torben Tranaes
Do youth mentoring programs change the perspectives and improve the life opportunities of at-risk youth? by Núria Rodríguez-Planas