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Richmond receiving funding to prevent gun and gang violence

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:29 PST, Fri January 20, 2023

Last Updated: 2:30 PST, Fri January 20, 2023

The Government of Canada is aiming to get guns off Richmond streets and put more resources into the community. 

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, Richmond Centre MP Wilson Miao and Steveston–Richmond East MP Parm Bains, on behalf of the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the City of Richmond will receive up to $2.68 million from the BSCF to prevent gun crime and gang violence in the city. 

“Creating a safe environment and community for Canadians to live and grow in should always be a top priority,” said Miao. “With the Building Safer Communities Fund, Richmond will have new programs to create safe spaces and to empower youths for better success in life. These programs will foster community building and create a preventative measure for gun and gang violence. Together we can build a safer and better community for everyone.”

Bains said: 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 Richmond.

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.  

“As safety is paramount to residents and businesses in Richmond, city council has continued to work closely with the RCMP to make our community one of the safest in the region,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Support such as the Building Safer Communities Fund plays an important role in preventing crime by allowing the city to expand and enhance important programs and initiatives. These include mentoring, skills-building, training, outreach, and educational opportunities for at-risk youth and young adults.”

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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