Government taking action on gun crime in Winnipeg with up to $4.5 million for prevention programs
May 19, 2023 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
People in Winnipeg 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 Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the City of Winnipeg will receive up to $4.5 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.
This begins with strong borders, where we’ve invested nearly a half billion dollars over the past two years and deepened cooperation with the United States to fight gun smuggling.
It includes strong legislative and regulatory action. Three years ago, the Government banned over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and last year implemented a freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns. These are central elements of Bill C-21, Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation – which also proposes significant provisions to combat organized crime and address the alarming role of guns in domestic violence.
Finally, it includes strong prevention strategies, like today’s announcement, to stop gun violence before it starts.
“My number one priority as Minister of Public Safety is keeping Canadians safe. Investments in grassroots efforts in Winnipeg 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
“More must be done to make sure Winnipeggers feel safe in our city. This important investment will help support at-risk youth better set themselves up for success in life. I look forward to seeing the difference it will make for young people across Winnipeg.”
- The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
“The City of Winnipeg is thankful for the Building Safer Communities Fund, which allows us to work collaboratively with the federal government and local organizations to tackle violence and gang activity at their core. By investing in preventative measures and focusing on at-risk youth, we’re creating safer streets, libraries, and transit stops, and we’re providing opportunities for a brighter future for our young people.”
- Scott Gillingham, Mayor of Winnipeg
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 – a five-year $356.1 million investment announced in 2018. This includes the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund, which brings together federal, provincial and territorial supports to tackle the increase in gun-related violence and gang activity in Canada, with over $214 million in funding provided to provinces and territories over five years. In 2023, the Government of Canada announced an extension and expansion of the program with $390 million over five years through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund to provinces and territories for a variety of initiatives, including support for law enforcement and prevention programs.
- Government announces strengthened measures to prevent gun violence and ban new assault-style firearms
- Further strengthening our gun control laws
- Freezing the market on handguns
- Government takes action to prevent gun violence with $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund
- Government of Canada delivers on plan to build safer communities and reduce firearms violence
- New investments to help end gun and gang violence in Canada
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada
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