MPP Daisy Wai Partakes in Support for Project Infantry

Published on August 10, 2020

The Project is a first-of-its-kind, and is designed to identify and examine the significant increase of gun and gang violence by working with integrated and multi–sectoral partnerships


On the morning of Monday August 10th at the headquarters of York Regional Police in Aurora, MPP Wai among several other members representing various municipalities within York Region in particular further emphasized the details on, and showed their support in accordance with York Regional Police of, the newest funding project, known as "Project Infantry". "Project Infantry", in correspondence with a multi-million dollar investment effort by the Premier of Ontario being done to combat gun and gang violence province-wide, is designed to identify and examine the significant increase of gun and gang violence by working with integrated and multi–sectoral partnerships. Led by York Regional Police (YRP), this project focuses on assisting our front-line police officers, who are combating gun and gang violence on a daily basis. By studying cause and prevention, the project will also enhance existing frameworks currently being utilized by law enforcement and other sectors across Ontario.

The goals of the project are to modernize how youth at risk of being recruited into human trafficking are reported to YRP, develop a crime prevention model based on social development, provide resources to address immediate needs of victims of human trafficking, funding for YRP proactive intelligence gathering initiatives related to the sex trade and host an interdisciplinary conference focused on human trafficking investigations and supports needed by human trafficking survivors. YRP and York Region Children’s Aid Society (YRCAS) will develop an online reporting tool for their social workers to submit reports directly to human trafficking investigators. This will enhance the 2017 protocol between YRP and YRCAS by reducing delays to the start of investigations. YRP, 360Kids, York University and YRCAS will identify at risk youths susceptible to human trafficking and collaborate to develop a program to prevent recruitment into the sex trade. Muskoka Woods will host the program and York University will develop, implement and evaluate the programming for success and sustainability. YRP will also proactively gather intelligence related to the human trafficking of youth.

YRP has successfully conducted many major serious investigations based on results from proactive sex trade intelligence gathering initiatives. YRP, Victim Services of York Region (VSYR), 360Kids, York University and YRCAS will host an interdisciplinary conference for human trafficking investigators, victim support workers and the social service sector from across Canada to highlight collaborative models of investigation and care. Lastly, YRP human trafficking investigators will utilize funding to address the immediate needs of victims seeking to leave the sex trade. These funds will allow investigators to fund immediate and urgent needs, such as travel, clothing and meals during first contact and during the court process.

This is a brand-new initiative that will be piloted, then implemented in York Region. Comprehensive needs assessment in this area has never been examined in the history of YRP. The government will closely examine all of the gun and gang incidents that has caused further concern to the community this past year. Additionally, examination will continue for the duration of the project. The previous surge in violence will be studied carefully to determine what has really occurred. At the conclusion of the project we will have real data and evidence to illuminate the surge of gun and gang violence. Data will support effectiveness of the proposed prevention strategies. By truly understanding the causal factors and needs; only then can we move forward with effective collaborative crime prevention.

Project Infantry is a distinctive initiative that is asset–based, collaborative, risk-based, and sustainable. Additionally, it will include strong partnerships with the Ministry of Attorney General and three organizations from different sectors: the York Region Children’s Aid Society, 360kids and the Toronto Transit Commission.

This project will be implemented in six phases; data mining, training, enforcement, intelligence gathering, data analysis and evaluations.