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OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal government is allocating up to $327.6 million over five years and $100 million a year after that to fight gun and gang violence.

He says the money will finance a variety of programs to cut gun crime and criminal gang activities.

In March, he says, the federal government will host a summit on criminal guns and gangs, bringing together experts, front−line police, governments and community leaders to discuss the problem.

The government says there were 2,465 criminal firearms violations in 2016, an increase of 30 per cent since 2013.

It also says 76 per cent of gang−related homicides involve firearms, compared with 20 per cent of non−gang killings.

It says the expanding fentanyl crisis is facilitated by organized crime groups.

“Too many young people have been killed and too many communities have been marred by gun crime and gun violence,” Goodale said in a statement.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. By working together, we can make our communities safer through greater enforcement, collaboration and prevention.”

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