The Canadian government helps communities implement measures to protect against hate-motivated crimes through the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP).
On July 21, the Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, the Honourable Mary Ng, announced that as a result of the SIP Call for Applications of September to November 2020, 150 projects representing over $6 million to support communities at risk of hate-motivated crime have been recommended for development. This is the largest investment for a given year in the history of the program.
Speaking at the Chabad Lubavitch of Markham, which is seeking just over $40,000 from the last Call to upgrade their fencing to better secure the area around their place of worship, Minister Blair also announced that the next Call for Applications will be launched on July 28, 2021. Eligible recipients, including community centres, educational institutions and places of worship, are invited to apply for funding until September 22, 2021.
The SIP is designed to help communities at risk of hate-motivated crime improve their security infrastructure. This funding can be used for security equipment such as doors, windows, cameras, alarm systems, fencing, lighting, minor renovations to enhance security, and basic training for staff to respond to a hate-motivated crime.
Canada’s Budget 2021 proposed an additional $2 million to the SIP, for a total of $8 million in funding for fiscal year 2021-22. While the Call for Applications is open to eligible applicants from all communities, this additional funding from Budget 2021 will focus on addressing anti-Asian hate-motivated crime.
In Canada, most hate crimes are motivated by race/ethnicity (45%); religion (35%); and sex and gender-based issues (13%).
“All people living in Canada have the right to practise their culture or faith without fear, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion,” said Blair. “The Government of Canada is committed to keeping gathering spaces safe and secure and responding to the needs of communities most at risk for hate crimes. The SIP supports community centres, educational institutions, and places of worship vulnerable to hate-motivated crime by enhancing their security infrastructure to create safer, more secure, gathering spaces for members of their communities.”
“All Canadians deserve to be safe and live without fear of harassment or discrimination because of who they are,” said Ng. “Over the pandemic we have seen a disturbing increase in racism and acts of hate—including anti-Asian racism, and our government is taking action. Racial intolerance has been a reality for many Asian Canadian communities for too long. Acts of hate and racism are attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms, and on Canadian values of respect, equality and inclusion. Our government is stepping up to support vulnerable communities by investing to ensure they feel safe in their community centres, schools and places of worship.”