Government taking action on gun crime in London with up to $3.09 million for prevention programs
January 16, 2023
People in London 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, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the City of London will receive up to $3.09 million from the Building Safer Communities Fund 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 weapons of war off of our streets. Finally, we recently introduced Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation. This landmark legislation implemented a national freeze on handguns last October and includes significant provisions to combat organized crime and address the alarming role of guns in domestic violence.
“My number one priority as Minister of Public Safety is keeping Canadians safe. Investments in grassroots efforts in London 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 is a welcomed investment in support of proactive crime reduction and public safety. Like many cities across Canada, London has experienced a steady rise in violent crime in recent years, and we are grateful to the Federal Government for demonstrating an ongoing commitment in support of safer communities. These funds will help us steer young people away from a life of crime and violence, and instead towards more productive and prosperous futures.”
- Josh Morgan, Mayor of London
“Feeling safe in your community is something that everyone should be afforded. Gun violence is of great concern, and we must do whatever we can to stop it before more lives are lost. With today’s Building Safer Communities Fund announcement, our government is working to help young people at risk of becoming involved in crime lead their lives in a more positive direction. The funds will also make London, and Canada as a whole, a safer place for all by building strong, resilient communities.”
- Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West
“This is an important announcement that recognizes the value of proactive approaches in stemming the rise of violence in our communities. Youth in London and across the country stand to benefit and we owe it to them to do all we can to ensure their future is filled with meaningful opportunities. Our federal government will continue to pursue such a vision because it’s the key to the creation of a better country.”
- Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre
Through this funding, the City of London will develop a multi-year strategy to identify and address the underlying factors that lead to youth gun and gang violence through data analysis, needs assessments, and consultations with community partners.
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.
- A comprehensive strategy to address gun violence and strengthen gun laws in Canada: Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms)
- Gun and Gang Violence
- Homicide in Canada, 2021
- New investments to help end gun and gang violence in Canada
- Youth Gang Prevention Fund
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada
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