In ongoing efforts to prevent and deal with gun and gang violence in British Columbia, the provincial government will continue to fund several community-specific initiatives in areas struggling with these issues.
The provincial government announced today (April 23) that it will allocate $5.3 million in funds over a two-year period.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun explained in a news release that “prevention at a young age with youth and their families…can help to stop young people from being lured into gang lifestyles”.
In addition, Abbotsford Police Department Chief Const. Mike Serr stated that “enforcement strategies alone will not end gang violence”, and that prevention, intervention, and education are integral components in addressing these issues.
The first $2.6 million is being distributed to six B.C. gang-related prevention and intervention programs— based in Abbotsford, the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, and the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island:
- $977,966 to the Abbotsford Community Services Society's Abbotsford In It Together: Supporting Youth Involved in Gang Activity program. This program focuses on youth aged 12 to 30 years, who have been or currently are gang-involved, or are at a high risk of gang involvement.
- $225,000 to the Abbotsford Community Services Society's Enhancing Gang Prevention and Intervention Programming with South Asian Youth program to support South Asian female youth aged 12 to 22 years, who are at high risk of gang involvement by providing one-to-one services with a female youth worker.
- $207,795 to the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association's Future Forward program to provide protective factors to youth who are at high risk of involvement in crime and recidivism, focusing on youth aged 13 to 25 years with recent engagement in crime and gangs, and youth aged 12 to 18 years, who are at risk of involvement in gangs.
- $173,361 to the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society's Youth and Family Navigator program to engage directly with gang-involved and at-risk youth aged nine to 30 years (and their families) in and around the community of 100 Mile House.
- $450,000 to the Pacific Centre Family Services Association's Crime Reduction and Exploitation Diversion program to support individuals aged nine to 30 years in the Capital Region District, with a significant focus on Indigenous youth, who are at high risk of gang involvement or are displaying gang-related criminal behaviours and who are gang entrenched.
- $580,000 to the BC School Superintendents Association's Support for High Risk, Vulnerable Youth in BC Communities program to co-develop educational/crime prevention curriculum and tools with Indigenous partners.
The B.C. government will allocate a second amount of $2.68 in 2019-2020 as part of the two-year contribution agreement.
The federal government has allocated $214 million for provinces and territories through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund, of which B.C. will receive a total of $30 million over five years.