Canada’s public safety minister announced Friday that the federal government will support the City of Fredericton with up to $945,000 to prevent gun and gang violence.
The funding, part of Ottawa’s $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund, will tackle underlying social conditions that give rise to crime and support projects to combat violence among youth.
Marco Mendicino said investing in grassroots and community efforts in Fredericton is essential to addressing the social conditions that involve youth in a life of crime and gun-related violence.
“Put simply, we must stop gun and gang violence before it starts,” he said.
It comes as the Trudeau government aims to rid Canadian communities of gun and gang violence, such as with strict gun-control laws that would void gun licences of convicted criminals.
The government also banned assault-style firearms, like the AR-15, in 2020 and plans to begin a buyback program for similar weapons.
Bill C-21, introduced by the Liberals as “Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation,” proposes new “red flag” laws to address the role of guns in domestic violence and a national handgun freeze.
While Bill C-21 has yet to be passed in the House of Commons, a temporary ban on handgun imports went into effect on Aug. 19.
Fredericton Member of Parliament Jenica Atwin said keeping residents safe starts with youth, ensuring there are spaces where they can access necessary supports.
“We are taking a pro-active approach to identify the issues causing violence in our community and bring everybody onto the same page with an action plan to prevent the expansion of violent crimes in our city,” she said.
Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers said there are violent activities in the city that require attention and added that staff believe youth are at risk.
“This funding will help support education and prevention programs aimed at these youth, which can be delivered by community agencies and their networks,” said Rogers.
“It will also complement the efforts of our Police Force to combat crime.”
Mayor Kate Rogers joined Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino & MP Jenica Atwin for an announcement today that will see Fredericton receive $945,000 from the Building Safer Communities Fund to address social conditions that give rise to crime. https://t.co/9pASJAcdZ6 pic.twitter.com/QFrGhaizPG
— City of Fredericton (@CityFredGov) August 26, 2022