TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing up to $2.6 million over two years through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) grant to help communities combat hate-motivated crime.
The funding will help 26 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils, in collaboration with their police partners, implement local projects that tackle discrimination, foster greater inclusiveness and address the increase of police-reported hate crime.
“Our government has zero-tolerance for hate and racism in any form, and we continue to be focused on advancing communitybased solutions to ensure Ontarians can overcome these real-life barriers,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.
“This grant is an important tool that will reinforce the positive work that is being done by community partners in every region of our province. Together we are building momentum and pursuing the objective of relegating racism and hate to Ontario’s history books.”
Funding from the Safer and Vital Communities grant will support a variety of projects and initiatives, such as:
• Developing education campaigns and community resources to increase public awareness about hate crime, discrimination and racism;
• Delivering youth awareness programs and workshops in schools or other settings;
• Holding community forums to foster greater understanding and collaboration between groups from diverse backgrounds;
• Creating coaching tools and resources for community members who are at greater risk of being victimized;
• Fostering dialogue and cooperation between police and community organizations to build relationships;
• Supporting victims so they can report hate crimes to law enforcement; and,
• Upgrading an organization’s security system and infrastructure to increase community safety. The Safer and Vital Communities Grant will also complement Ontario’s new $1.6 million AntiRacism and Anti-Hate Grant, which is currently being designed in collaboration with community groups to create effective solutions based on lived experiences and local needs.
• According to Statistics Canada, in 2017 police-reported criminal incidents in Canada motivated by hate jumped by 47 per cent over the previous year. The largest provincial increase occurred in Ontario at 67 per cent.
• The Safer and Vital Communities Grant is open to community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils.
• Grant recipients are required to partner with their local police service and are encouraged to partner with at least one other organization from a different sector to ensure a broad range of community engagement.