Government taking action on gun crime in Halton Region with up to $3.94 million for prevention programs

News release

March 13, 2023 - Oakville, Ontario

People in Halton Region and communities 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 Halton Region will receive up to $3.94 million from the BSCF to prevent gun crime and violence in the region. This funding will help address the underlying conditions that give rise to crime. The municipality will distribute it to community-led projects for at-risk young people, helping them set themselves up for success in life.

No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun crime on its own. 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. Finally, we recently introduced Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation. In addition to the handgun freeze, it proposes significant provisions to combat organized crime and help to 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 Halton Region 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

“Halton continues to remain the safest community to raise a family across Canada. As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, I know the importance of making investments in grassroot prevention initiatives that stop crime before it starts. Today’s investment will ensure that at-risk youth are given every opportunity to make healthier choices and achieve success.”

- Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington 

"One life taken away by gun violence is too many. Today's announcement of nearly $4 million dollars invested in Halton Region through the Building Safer Communities Fund will support the crucial work of our community organizations. By providing our youth with the tools and resources needed to succeed, we are addressing the root causes of gun and gang violence, while building a safer future for Oakville and for Canada."

- The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Oakville 

"Supporting young people fosters a safer community for all of us. Through the Building Safer Communities Fund, our government is addressing issues of gun and gang violence at the grassroots level."

- The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington

“Halton is the safest place to live and raise a family in Canada, but recent events tell us that more must be done to prevent crime and protect our community from violence and theft. Supporting our youth and building tools to prevent gun and gang violence before they start will ensure that Halton Region continues being a community where everyone feels safe. I am proud of these investments and I know they will make a difference.”

- Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport and Member of Parliament for Milton

“We are pleased to receive this important funding through the Building Safer Communities Fund, that will allow us to support additional crime prevention programs and initiatives for youth. Through our Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, we will be setting up an Action Table with community partners to develop a multi-year strategy and identify areas of greatest need at the local level. Thank you to Minister Mendicino and Public Safety Canada for this critical funding.” 

- Gary Carr, Halton Regional Chair

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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Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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