Ontario creates security grant for cultural and faith-based organizations
By Canadian Security StaffNews ontario government
The Ontario government has created a new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant designed to help cultural and faith-based organizations implement or enhance security measures.
The government says it is investing $25.5 million over two years and will provide up to $10,000 towards installing security equipment such as cameras and access control. Funds could also be used towards staff training, security assessments, cybersecurity measures, or the hiring security personnel on a short-term basis.
“Everyone in Ontario deserves to be safe in their communities,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner in a statement issued by the government. “We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hate and these grants will help provide safe and secure areas so that people can worship in peace. We will continue to protect the people of this province.”
Eligible organizations include: religious and spiritual communities; First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban Indigenous organizations; and cultural groups. Grant applications will open this summer.
According to government data, there were more than 1,500 hate crimes reported to police in Ontario in 2021. The most targeted groups in recent years include Indigenous, Black, Muslim, Jewish and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities.
“No Ontarian should live in fear that they will be targeted because of their background, who they love, or how they worship,” added Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “Building on our other investments to combat hate, the new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities and ensure everyone has a safe environment to practice their faith and express their culture and beliefs.”
The government has allocated $40 million through the Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations since 2021. The government says the new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help to cover the cost of addition security measures and enable more organizations to apply for funding.
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