Montréal – Quebecers deserve to feel safe at home. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action on gun violence, with a comprehensive plan that gets guns off our streets and puts more resources into our communities. The overarching element of our plan is to eliminate the root causes of gun crime. That is why we launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund. First announced in March of 2022, the Fund supports local initiatives to prevent gun violence and help young people make good choices. Gang violence and public shootings are becoming more common in Québec. To help reduce their impact on our streets and in our communities, governments and community organizations must work together and focus on addressing the social conditions that lead to criminality.
Today, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, together with the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, announced that the Government of Canada will provide $41.8 million to the Government of Québec, through the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF), to support gun and gang violence prevention and intervention activities in municipalities and Indigenous communities across the province where the needs are the greatest. These funds will be used by the Government of Québec to strengthen efforts under the CENTAURE initiative, Québec’s Strategy to Combat Gun Violence. These new investments will support community-led initiatives to tackle the root causes of gun and gang crime, and provide opportunities that help young people make positive life choices, in accordance with the objectives of the BSCF.
No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun and gang violence on its own. That is why the BSCF is one of the many elements of the Government’s comprehensive plan to keep Canadians safe. We also recently introduced Bill C 21 – the most significant action on gun violence in Canada in a generation – which includes major investments at our borders to stop gun smuggling, a proposed “national freeze” on handguns, new proposed “red flag” laws to stop domestic violence, the banning of more than 1,500 models of assault-style firearms, such as the AR-15, and a buyback program, to get guns off of our streets.
“The safety of Quebecers and Canadians is my number one priority. That is why we must continue to invest in grassroots and community initiatives that help young people grow and lead a life free of crime and gun violence. The funding announced today will give Québec the flexibility needed to help each of the recipients tailor their approach and programs to combat gun and gang violence, before it begins.” – Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“We know that gun violence will not disappear with a wave of a magic wand. But we also know that prevention among young people, through the expertise of community groups, is part of the solution. There are very positive initiatives in my riding and we must continue in that direction.” – Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant