Government of Canada invests in at-risk youth and crime prevention programming in Toronto

News release

March 6, 2020

Scarborough, Ontario

Many children and youth in vulnerable populations are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. The Government of Canada makes it a priority to keep our communities safe and to support evidence-based crime prevention programming for at-risk youth.

Today, Member of Parliament for Scarborough North, Shaun Chen, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced just over $1 million in funding for the PLUG Project. The project, implemented by the TAIBU Community Health Centre, is receiving funding under the National Crime Prevention Strategy’s Crime Prevention Action Fund.

The PLUG Project aims to reduce the number of school suspensions, expulsions, and school dropout rates among Black students in the Scarborough (East Toronto) and Rexdale (Northwest Toronto) neighbourhoods. The goal of the project is to keep youth in school, which studies show helps prevent violent and criminal acts leading to incarceration in the juvenile justice system.


“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to support community-led, evidence-based, crime prevention projects such as the PLUG Project. The TAIBU Community Health Centre and its community partners will have a great impact on many youth by offering culturally responsive services that support healthy relationships, life-management, and decision-making skills in community settings.”

–       The Honourable Shaun Chen, Member of Parliament for Scarborough North

“This investment in an important project will improve the lives of so many people in Scarborough and beyond. The PLUG Project holds great promise for healthier and safer communities  that better support those most at risk, and empower those best-placed to help. By helping to keep young people in school, projects like this one help reduce crime and violence  while increasing public safety in our communities.”

–       The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park

“The PLUG project is developed to connect Black students and their parents to culturally appropriate support services and enable them to positively navigate the school system. It is also aimed at challenging structural and institutional Anti-Black Racism. TAIBU and Rexdale community health centres are very excited to build on the success that was achieved in the pilot phase of the project and continue to work with our key partners, including Legal Aid Ontario and the Toronto District School Board , to address the disproportionate higher rate of suspensions and expulsions for Black students and improve their educational experience towards a successful academic attainment.”

–       Liben Gebremikael, Executive Director, TAIBU Community Health Centre                                                                                     

Quick facts

  •  TAIBU and Rexdale Community Health Centres are the leading partners of the project. Other key partners are Legal Aid Ontario and the Toronto District School Board.

  • Beginning in 2020, the PLUG Project is expected to serve 60 participants.. Overall, the project will engage 300 youth over the course of five years.

  • Funding was provided under the National Crime Prevention Strategy’s Crime Prevention Action Fund, which supports innovative projects for at-risk children and youth, and high risk offenders in communities.

  • The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) provides national leadership on cost-effective ways to prevent and reduce crime among at-risk populations and vulnerable communities by intervening to mitigate the underlying factors that put individuals at risk of offending.

  • In 2019-2020, $46.5 million was made available under the NCPS to support the implementation and evaluation of crime prevention programs.

  •  Since April 1, 2019, the Government of Canada has supported 82 new community-based crime prevention projects across Canada valued at $36.3 million.

Associated links


Mary-Liz Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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