$3.1M in federal funds for Calgary crime prevention
By Sherri Zickefoose
August 21, 2009
CALGARY – The federal government is putting $3.1 million toward Calgary crime prevention programs designed to steer youth away from organized crime, federal Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan announced.
Three Calgary projects aimed at preventing and reducing crime are getting a boost under the federal government's National Crime Prevention Strategy.
“The Government of Canada is concerned with crime and gang-related violence in our communities,” Van Loan told reporters Thursday at Calgary Police Service headquarters.
The funding includes $1 million over the next four years to the city's Youth At Risk Development program, or YARD, aimed at preventing children from joining gangs.
The Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers is also included in the funding, receiving $1 million over three years for its immigrant youth gang crime project.
Calgary Family Services' is receiving funding of $900,000 over three years for its program called Spirit -Girls Identifying Real Life Solutions. It is a school-based program to give girls between the ages of 12 to 15 the benefits of long-term positive relationships and life skills.
Deputy chief Al Redford said half the battle police face is “keeping youth educated about gang issues.”
Calgary's YARD program, in its third year of a four year pilot project, works with youth at risk of joining gangs or who are already involved in gang activity. It combines City of Calgary and community organizations.
The Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers Society will use the cash for its Effective Community Response to Immigrant Youth Gang Crime Project. The project works with immigrant youth to prevent gang-related crime through education, counselling and community support.
In a statement, Solicitor General Fred Lindsay said the community-based initiatives are “an important addition to Alberta's efforts to reduce gang crime and the influence of gangs in our communities.
“A strong partnership involving all levels of government, law enforcement, and communities is essential in our ongoing efforts to fight, reduce, and deter crime on our streets and in our neighbourhoods,” he said.
More information can be found at the government's website at www.tacklingcrime.gc.ca.