FEDERAL Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair, on Monday announced $5,300,169 in funding for projects in British Columbia aimed at enhancing efforts to understand, prevent, disrupt, and combat gun and gang violence.
The province will receive the funding over two years, to support initiatives aimed at preventing and intervening in local gang activity in specific communities struggling with crime. It will include community consultation, targeted training, and development of Indigenous gun and gang violence prevention tools.
Blair said: “The highest priority for any government is the safety of its citizens. We keep Canadians safe in their homes and neighbourhoods; not only by understanding gun and gang violence, but also through prevention methods. The Government of Canada is taking strict action to help prevent violent crimes. This investment will identify priority communities and support the efforts of local community groups and police forces to prevent and combat gun and gang-related violence.”
Mike Farnworth, `BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said: “Troubling and highly dangerous incidents resulting from gun and gang violence are an ongoing public concern in our province, but Canada-wide homicide statistics show that guns and gangs are not just a B.C. problem. We’re pleased that the federal government recognizes the devastating impact of gun and gang violence and is stepping up to help provinces in dealing with it — an important step to help tackle the violence that has been impacting communities across our nation. Ending the gun and gang violence that’s taking lives continues to require strong, strategic prevention, intervention and enforcement efforts. We’re making every effort to give police in B.C. the tools they need to disrupt organized crime groups, while also supporting community-based prevention and intervention programs that focus on gang-involved individuals.”
– The Government of Canada invested $327.6 million over five years to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.
– From the $327.6 million, $214 million will be made available to the provinces and territories through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund over a period of five years. Through this fund, over the full five years, British Columbia will receive a total of $30 million.
– The Government of Canada also invested an additional $8 million over the next four years in the Youth Gang Prevention Fund beginning in 2019 under the National Crime Prevention Strategy as part of its commitment to community funding under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.