Ontario Strengthening Supports to Combat Hate and Create Safer Communities
Province unveils new grant to help keep faith and cultural communities safe
May 05, 2023
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $25.5 million over two years to help address the rise of hate incidents against religious and minority groups. The new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help faith-based and cultural organizations enhance or implement measures to ensure community spaces remain safe and secure.
“No Ontarian should live in fear that they will be targeted because of their background, who they love, or how they worship,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “Building on our other investments to combat hate, the new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities and ensure everyone has a safe environment to practice their faith and express their culture and beliefs.”
The grant will provide up to $10,000 to help religious groups, Indigenous communities and cultural communities better protect and secure their facilities from hate-motivated incidents, graffiti, vandalism or other damage. Grant funding can be used for things such as building upgrades, enhancing locks, installing cameras, training staff, completing security assessments, introducing safer cybersecurity measures, hiring short-term professional security personnel and making repairs.
“Everyone in Ontario deserves to be safe in their communities,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hate and these grants will help provide safe and secure areas so that people can worship in peace. We will continue to protect the people of this province.”
Since 2021, the government has allocated $40 million through the Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations. The redesigned Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will now cover the cost of additional prevention and capacity building measures, and allows for more organizations to apply.
Eligible organizations include:
- Religious and spiritual communities (e.g., mosques, synagogues, temples, churches, etc.)
- First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban Indigenous organizations
- Cultural groups (e.g., 2SLGBTQQIA+ groups, Black, Asian and other diverse organizations offering programs, workshops and ceremonies that promote their communities’ cultures)
Applications for the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will open in summer 2023.
- Indigenous, Black, Muslim, Jewish and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities have been among the most targeted groups of hate crimes in recent years. There were more than 1,500 police-reported hate crimes in Ontario in 2021.
- The Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations provided funding to more than 1,200 faith-based and cultural organizations to protect communities against hate.
- Ontario invested an additional $1.6 million in the Anti-Racism Anti-Hate Grant to support 24 additional projects. Through this grant, the Province has supported a total of 82 community projects to increase public education and awareness of the impacts of racism and hate.
- The Ontario government is investing more than $1.5 million through the 2022-2024 Safer and Vital Communities Grant program. This funding will help 17 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils, support projects that prevent online hate crime, human trafficking and fraud.
“Ontario is a place where it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you love or how you choose to worship God; everybody has a place here, and everybody deserves to feel safe, The Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help address the rise in hate incidents that we have been seeing too many cases of. We are taking action because there is no place for hate in Ontario.”
– Graham McGregor
MPP for Brampton North
“The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) welcomes improvements to the Government of Ontario’s new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant. “The changes to this grant provide dedicated funding that will provide more resources for Muslim Ontarians and other faith-based and cultural organizations across our province to take more effective measures to ensure our community spaces are safe and secure for everyone. Improvements to this grant were urgently needed as we saw a surge in violence targeting mosques during the past Ramadan. We thank the Government of Ontario for its timely commitment to address our call for action.”
– Stephen Brown
CEO, National Council of Canadian Muslims
“Despite being one of the most diverse and welcoming places in the world, our province has experienced an alarming increase in antisemitism and other forms of hate. No one in Ontario should fear for their safety while gathering, learning, or praying. The expansion of the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will provide critical support to keep people safe. We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for taking this important step forward and standing shoulder to shoulder with targeted communities”
– Noah Shack
Vice President, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
“MAC welcomes the Ontario Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant’s expansion, and we are thankful to the Ford Government for recognizing the need to support faith-based organizations and places of worship in enhancing their security measures. Our mosques and community members have unfortunately been subjected to Islamophobic attacks, and this funding will help provide a safer environment for all to practice their faith without fear. We believe that this grant is a significant step towards combating hate in Ontario.”
– Abdullatif Bakbak
President-Executive of the Muslim Association of Canada