To help stop gun violence before it starts, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, the Honorable Marco Mendicino, has announced new federal support through the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF), including $7.3 million for the Regional Municipality of York.
The fund will help municipalities and Indigenous communities prevent gun and gang violence by tackling its root causes. The Minister made the announcement alongside Mayor Frank Scarpitti and local Members of Parliament in Markham, Ontario.
To address the conditions that contribute to a young person falling in with crime, the program will provide funds, through 2025-26, to eligible municipalities and Indigenous communities. Municipalities will then distribute funds to local organizations that focus on children, youth and young adults who are involved in or at risk of joining gangs. Funding to communities in Quebec will be determined in collaboration with the provincial government, respecting the jurisdiction of the Government of Quebec.
No single initiative is enough to address the challenge of gun violence and the BSCF is a key element of the government’s comprehensive plan. That plan includes programs that help at-risk young people lead lives free of crime, investments to stop gun smuggling at our borders, and the banning of more than 1,500 models of assault-style firearms.
The government also updated Canadians on the Amnesty Order that accompanied the May 1, 2020 assault-style firearms prohibition, which will receive an administrative extension until October 30, 2023. This will allow time to ensure that officials can finalize and fully implement a robust mandatory buyback program and allow firearms owners and businesses to take all reasonable steps to come into compliance with the law.