TORONTO - Provincial funding for a police anti-violence initiative was made permanent Monday, as the city grappled with a series of recent public shootings that have left multiple people dead.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that Ontario will earmark $12.5 million for several initiatives aimed at preventing more violence, with the money coming from existing sources in the provincial budget.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," he said following an hour-long, closed-door meeting with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Police Chief Bill Blair at the Ontario legislature.

The majority of the funding — $7.5 million — will go toward the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy. The remaining $5 million will be allocated to the program in Toronto, which has led to nearly 22,000 arrests since its creation in 2006.

The two employ a total of 72 uniformed officers specially trained to prevent and quickly respond to high-risk police calls, including gang-related incidents.

The funding will ensure that the programs will continue into the future, said McGuinty.

He admitted the government was considering putting the money up on the chopping block when it was set to expire this year, because of the $15-billion provincial deficit.

In addition, the premier also announced that $1 million in funding, which had been set aside earlier, will go toward better integration between Toronto-area police forces and the provincial police. The funds will also be used to provide additional supports to local community groups.

"It's a very complicated problem and there's no one, magic solution," he said. "Any effective response will consist of a variety of different initiatives."

McGuinty has also asked two provincial ministers to come up with an action plan within 30 days on what needs to be done to deal with the guns and gangs issue in the city.

"The fact is all of us — government, police and community organizations — have been working hard and we've made a difference," he said. "(But) it has become tragically apparent that there is still work for all of us to do."

The summit was called following last week's mass shooting at a community barbecue in east Toronto that left two dead and 23 wounded. It came on the same day that hundreds of people attended the funeral of Joshua Yasay, one of those killed in the shooting.

The second victim, 14-old Shyanne Charles, will be laid to rest Saturday in Toronto.

Last month, two men died after a gunman opened fire June 2 in the food court of the Toronto Eaton Centre, one of Toronto's most popular shopping destinations.

Ford called the funding a "huge victory" for Toronto taxpayers.

Before the meeting, Ford had said he was going to ask for between $5 million and $10 million for more police officers to fight gun violence in Toronto.

He didn't get it, but said he was happy about what McGuinty was able to offer.

"There was no B.S.," said Ford. "I wasn't going to sit there and listen to it."

The mayor plans on asking for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for more "stable funding" for anti-crime initiatives when the two meet Tuesday in Toronto.

"We can't have any of this gun play continue," he said. "I'm going to do everything in my power to eliminate it."

New Democrat MPP Jonah Schein said a promise for continued funding for police is not enough.

"It's also been clear that community groups, community organizations that work with youth and young people also need stable funding," he said. "They need stable funding from day to day, from week to week, from year to year...to do a job that's really important. We need to make sure that young people never pick up a gun in the first place."

Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski called the announcement a "soft strategy" in dealing with the recent violence in the city.

"Part of dealing with this problem in dealing with Toronto and anywhere is making sure you're prepared to face these gangs face on," he said. "We're at war with these gangs."

According to the province, Toronto recorded its lowest murder rate in 25 years last year and violent crime rates have dropped 13 per cent since 2003.

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  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Police interview neighbours on Tuesday July 17, 2012 near the scene of a shooting on Danzig Street where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012.

  • Neighbours watch on as police walk by on Tuesday July 17, 2012 near the scene of a shooting on Danzig Street where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012 .

  • Mayor Rob Ford speaks to media after visiting the scene of Monday night's shooting on Danzig St. in Toronto on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Mayor Rob Ford (right) visits the scene of Monday night's shooting on Danzig St. in Toronto on Tuesday July 17, 2012. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Joshua Yasay, 23, was killed in the shooting.

  • Shyanne Charles, 14, was killed in the shooting on Scarborough's Danzig Street.

  • Police interview neighbors near the scene of a shooting in Toronto, on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Two people are dead and 19 were injured as gunfire broke out late Monday night as more than 200 people attended an outdoor community barbecue. Police described the shootout, which involved multiple guns, as an "unprecedented" episode of violence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Aaron Vincent Elkaim )

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair arrives for a news conference on Monday night's fatal shooting at a street party in Scarborough, in Toronto, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Willms

  • Police interview neighbors near the scene of a shooting in Toronto, on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Two people are dead and 19 were injured as gunfire broke out late Monday night as more than 200 people attended an outdoor community barbecue. Police described the shootout, which involved multiple guns, as an "unprecedented" episode of violence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Aaron Vincent Elkaim )

  • Shannon Longshaw;

  • Police stand on guard on Tuesday July 17, 2012 on Danzig Street near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and 2 confirmed dead at an outdoor barbecue that took place on Monday July 16, 2012 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • A police officer places a marker on Danzig Street in Toronto on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 near the scene of Monday night's shooting. Toronto police are calling for witnesses to come forward following a deadly shooting at an outdoor neighbourhood party that left two people dead and sent 21 others to hospital, including an infant, in what police are calling the worst incident of gun violence in the city's recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Pedestrians look on near the scene of a shooting in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair speaks to the media in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair walks down Morningside Ave in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, following a shooting that left 19 people injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Police stand on guard on Morningside Ave. in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and two dead at a house party late Monday, July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair speaks to media in Toronto early Tuesday, July 17, 2012, near the scene of a shooting where 19 people were injured and two were left dead at a house party late Monday July 16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

  • A man is attended to on the scene and loaded onto a gurney for transport following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik

  • ETF officers stand guard following a shooting that left 19 injured and two dead in Toronto late Monday, July 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto Star - Rick Madonik