CALGARY, AB, July 12, 2023 /CNW/ – People in Calgary 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 the City of Calgary will receive up to $7.7 million from the BSCF to prevent gun crime and gang violence. 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 Calgary 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
“As a City Councillor, I brought forward a Public Safety Task Force to better understand and help our City respond to an increase in gun and gang violence. This work remains just as important today, and as the MP for Calgary Skyview, I’m excited to see BSCF being deployed in Calgary neighbourhoods. Our young people deserve the support to develop resilience and lead lives free of crime and violence.”
– George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview
- 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.
- Statement on National Day Against Gun Violence
- Government announces $390 million to help stop crime and violence
- 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
- 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
- Youth Gang Prevention Fund
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada