The city of Montreal has made significant strides in tackling gun violence with its “Montreal Model for a Safe City,” which was the centerpiece of the second Montreal Forum for the Fight Against Armed Violence. This new safety model, affecting positively our borough of Parc-Extension, is built on four pillars: preventing and reducing insecurity, fostering quality living environments, mobilizing community engagement, and promoting co-responsibility among all partners. The model encapsulates a united approach, emphasizing the role of every stakeholder in maintaining security and a high standard of living for residents, particularly the vulnerable.
Mayor Valérie Plante stressed the importance of partnership and community involvement in the success of Montreal’s safety initiatives. The city has earmarked $10 million for youth infrastructure projects and is revamping programs aimed at youth-led projects. Additionally, the city will introduce a mobile social mediation team to address violence in northeast districts and implement an equitable and inclusive neighborhood strategy.
The Montreal Police Service (SPVM) plans to reactivate their vigilance structure and enhance management committee interactions with local communities. They will continue the ARRÊT project for community safety, increase foot patrols, and improve collaborative strategies across investigation and constabulary units.
The Ministry of Public Security is ramping up its fight against crime by backing prevention programs and launching a second Action Plan to address gun and gang violence. Their funding will support strategies like the CENTAURE initiative, focusing on creating youth spaces in Montreal.
Health agencies, including Montreal’s Regional Public Health Department and local health networks (CIUSSS), are actively engaged in preventing gun violence. This includes outreach to at-risk youth and launching new projects within hospitals and the community. Dr. Mylène Drouin emphasized the time-intensive nature of these efforts and the necessity for collective participation.
The Institute for Troubled Youth is enhancing methods for addressing armed violence, through efforts like evaluating the PIVOT project and supporting street-peer initiatives. Their new Living Lab project aims to explore and mitigate factors contributing to armed violence.
The collective efforts of these entities have already shown progress, with a 30% drop in firearm incidents over the past year. Police Service Director Fady Dagher highlighted the central role of youth and prevention in these initiatives, calling for continued community care and resource provision for young people’s safe development.
Alain Vaillancourt of the Montreal Executive Committee pointed out the work done to better understand and impact armed violence and pledged ongoing cooperation with all forum participants for continued success in prevention and intervention.
The second forum was notable for the unprecedented partnership across various sectors, with Josefina Blanco of the Executive Committee underscoring the collaborative work that marks a pivotal moment for Montreal’s safety and supportive environment. The city’s approach, as showcased by the Montreal Model, signifies a collaborative, informed, and proactive method to ensure a safe and inclusive city for all its residents.