Toronto anti-violence program faces funding cuts

The Province of Ontario has reduced annual funding for Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS).

Lauren Callighen, the press secretary for the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, explained the annual cut for TAVIS.

“The ministry has increased annual funding to the Toronto Police Service, provided through various grants and programs, to $47,663,212 for 2015-2016 to support local community safety and well-being efforts,” said Callighen. “This is an increase of $4,733,680 over 2014-2015.”

TAVIS is led by the Toronto Police Service. It belongs to the Specialized Operations Command. Its purpose is to focus on communities where violence and crime are major issues.

“While overall funding has increased we decided to decrease annual funding for TAVIS from $5M to $2.63M,” said Callighen. “We believe that the best way to prevent crime and keep our community safe, is to work with local groups and prioritize community-based crime prevention and youth engagement – by giving communities the ability to allocate funding where it’s needed most.”

In an email, Callighen stated that local police divisions can decide how to use the increased funding, depending on their priorities. That is the best way to ensure local concerns are addressed and we continue to build safer communities through collaborative, and community-based policing.