The Ontario government says part of the $1.9 billion it has earmarked for mental health over the next decade will go to police to help first responders deal with mental health issues and to offer de-escalation training.
The announcement came after Premier Doug Ford met with Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, Mayor John Tory and Bill Blair, the federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction, to discuss gun violence in the wake of a fatal shooting spree in the city over the weekend.
Ottawa has promised to match the provincial mental health funding.
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The Ontario government said it would draw from the pooled money to fund the police initiatives, but did not say how much would be allocated or when.
Sunday’s attack in Toronto’s Greektown claimed the lives of an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl and left 13 others wounded.
Authorities have identified the shooter as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, who was found dead at the scene. Hussain’s parents have said their son struggled with psychosis and depression his entire life.