Toronto, ON, July 27, 2007 – The provincial government’s addition of 200 OPP officers, including 53 dedicated to the fight against illegal guns, announced today is a step in the right direction to safer communities, said Sheila Ward, Chair of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

“Our governments need to take immediate and tough action against firearms to make our community a safer place,” said Ward. “We’ve all been made painfully aware of the severe pain and suffering that handguns and gun crime are bringing to our children, families, and communities. Premier McGuinty and his government are taking positive steps on what is a critical societal issue.”

The TDSB is committed to working with governments, agencies, and community groups to help counter the societal issues of crime and violence. The TDSB supports the additional 200 officers that Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today and the hiring of six new prosecutors dedicated to stemming the flow and sale of restricted guns in Ontario.

“We share in the Premier’s call on the federal government to do much more to protect the Canadian public,” Chair Ward said. “No one step will end the scourge, but each additional step is one that brings us closer to our goal: living in a society without violence and fear.”

“We again call on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to use all of his government’s powers to make the lives of Canadians safer by helping to eliminate these weapons that have no other purpose than to take lives,” she said.