MONTREAL -- The Quebec government is allocating about $65 million to combat gun violence and organized crime.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault said Tuesday the combination of federal and provincial funds will be used to bolster existing police squads and to create more specialized units.

Big-city police forces say gun crime is rising in places such as Montreal and Quebec City and that officers in recent months have been seizing more weapons than in the past.

“I saw lately this increasing of violence in Montreal, in other regions in Quebec. I remember something going on in St-Agapit and in Granby. So those are not typically cities where you see these kinds of incidents,” said Guilbault. “We need to fight energetically against violence, against illegal firearms, against criminal activities.”

The money will fund units in the provincial police and in the Montreal and Quebec City police that specialize in online weapons trafficking and in organized crime.

About $28 million of the funding is coming from the federal government's program to reduce violence tied to guns and to gangs.

Quebec will invest $38 million -- $4.5 million of which will be taken from a fund that is composed of assets seized from people convicted of crime.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 20, 2020.