Government taking action on gun crime in the Fraser Valley with up to $4.7 million for prevention programs
March 16, 2023
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
People in the Fraser Valley 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 Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the Fraser Valley will receive up to $4.7 million from the BSCF to prevent gun crime and gang 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 young people 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. 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 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 the Fraser Valley 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 support at-risk youth to make healthier choices and better set themselves up for success in life. I look forward to seeing the difference it will make for young people across the Fraser Valley.”
- Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety
“On behalf of the City, I want to thank the Federal Government for their investment in young people and, by extension, our entire community. The funding will address our work on youth gun and gang violence by gathering community feedback that will inform prevention, intervention programs and resources for youth, their families and supporting organizations as we work together in building resiliency and safer neighborhoods. This is a great example of the power of collaboration working with different levels of government and the community on what matters most.”
- Dan Ruimy, Mayor of Maple Ridge
“The City of Abbotsford and Abbotsford Police Department are grateful to the Government of Canada for their significant investment in our community to address these complex social problems. This new funding will support public safety and help the Abby PD to sustain and further address gun and gang violence through the augmentation of innovative and effective programs like Pathways. This funding will also help create new initiatives that fill the gaps in support for youth and young adults identified as being at-risk for gang-participation or other criminal activities, as well as their families.”
- Ross Siemens, Mayor of Abbotsford
“Mission is grateful to receive funding allowing us to better support local initiatives that prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices our community. We recognize that this is growing problem and that we need resources now to address it effectively. We appreciate the further support of the federal government and the recognition that this is a regional problem. We look forward to working with our neighbors to do more for young people who are involved in gangs, or at risk of joining them.”
- Paul Horn, Mayor of Mission
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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