Government taking action on gun crime in Coquitlam with up to $2.24 million for prevention programs

News release

January 23, 2023

Coquitlam, British Columbia

People in Coquitlam and across Canada deserve to feel safe in their communities.

That’s why the Government of Canada is taking action with a comprehensive plan that gets guns off our streets and puts more resources into our communities. An important element of this work is stopping violence before it starts, which is why the government launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March 2022, the BSCF supports local initiatives that prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices.

Today, Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, on behalf of the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the City of Coquitlam will receive up to $2.24 million from the BSCF to prevent gun crime and gang violence in the city. This funding will help address the underlying conditions that give rise to crime. It will support community-led projects to prevent violence among young people who are involved in gangs, or at risk of joining them – helping them set themselves up for success in life.

No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun crime on its own. That is why the BSCF is one of many elements in the government’s plan to keep Canadians safe.

Our work begins at Canada’s borders, where we’ve added resources to fight smuggling and stop guns from coming into the country. The Government banned assault-style firearms like the AR-15 two years ago and will soon begin a buyback program to get these guns out of our communities. Last October, a national freeze on handguns was implemented through amendments to regulations under the Firearms Act. Finally, we recently introduced Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation. This landmark legislation proposes significant provisions to combat organized crime and address the alarming role of guns in domestic violence.

Quotes

“My number one priority as Minister of Public Safety is keeping Canadians safe. Investments in grassroots efforts in Coquitlam are essential to addressing the social conditions that lead youth and young adults to get involved in a life of crime. Put simply, we must stop gun and gang violence before it starts.”

- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety

“This funding from the Building Safer Communities Fund will help our at-risk youth make better choices and set themselves up for success. Early interventions to keep our kids out of trouble are critical, and I look forward to seeing the difference it will make in making the Tri-Cities a safer place.” 

- Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam

“Regional gang and gun violence has no regard for municipal boundaries and fighting crime begins with preventing crime. In Coquitlam, we want to ensure bright futures for high-risk and vulnerable youth who have faced intensified social and mental health challenges over the last three years. But municipalities cannot do this work alone. We are grateful for this funding from the Building Safer Communities Fund, and look forward to working with our community partners on prevention and intervention.”

- Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam

Quick facts

  • Public Safety Canada is finalizing agreements with municipalities and communities that have been identified through evidence-based criteria and meet the program requirements.

  • The amount of BSCF support for a community is based on two major elements: crime severity (homicide by firearm, incidents of firearms offences, organized crime/street gang-involved crime) and population density.

  • The BSCF builds on the success of the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence. This includes the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund - a five year $358.8 million investment announced in 2018 - that brings together federal, provincial and territorial supports to tackle the increase in gun-related violence and gang activity in Canada.

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Contacts

Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Audrey.Champoux@ps-sp.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
media@ps-sp.gc.ca

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