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Canadian News Jul 8, 2021 6:24 AM EST

Alberta security grants now available, immediate funding an option for those at risk of hate or bias-motivated crimes

Madu: "While we work towards the ultimate goal of eliminating hate crimes in Alberta and bringing those guilty to justice, this fast-tracked grant program will help protect those most at risk.”

Alberta security grants now available, immediate funding an option for those at risk of hate or bias-motivated crimes
Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary, AB

Emergency grant applications for the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program (ASIP) are now open to reduce the risk of hate and bias-motivated crimes targeting facilities used by vulnerable Albertans.

On June 11, Alberta’s government announced support for at-risk communities, including religious and ethnic organizations and Indigenous groups, to protect them against hate-inspired violence and vandalism. Eligible organizations include not-for-profit associations serving people who, by virtue of their colour, race, ethnic and/or national origins, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or some other attribute, are at risk of being the victims of hate, bias or prejudice-motivated crimes.

"We must all condemn hate-motivated acts of violence and vandalism," said Premier Jason Kenney. "All Albertans must be able to exercise their religious freedom in peace and security. That’s why we introduced the Security Infrastructure Program, why we’ve doubled the available funding, and why we are making help available immediately for those at risk of hate-motivated crimes."

On June 30, the province announced double the funding for ASIP from $1 million to $2 million annually, to help protect churches and other targets of hateful vandalism and violence.

Up to $12,000 per applicant is immediately available for not-for-profit agencies serving individuals at risk of hate or bias-motivated crimes. The funding is for cases where an immediate threat is identified and there is evidence to support that threat. Application information is available on Alberta’s crime prevention page.

"Albertans from all backgrounds deserve the freedom and protection they need to worship as they please with their families, free from threats of violence and destruction," said Justice Minister Kaycee Madu. "While we work towards the ultimate goal of eliminating hate crimes in Alberta and bringing those guilty to justice, this fast-tracked grant program will help protect those most at risk."

ASIP helps vulnerable groups implement security improvements to increase protection from potential vandalism and violence. While the regular grant call will accept applications later this year, funding is now available for not-for-profit organizations and groups associated with facilities facing an immediate threat. One-time emergency funding may provide a bridge between immediate needs and the regular ASIP grants, which will focus on longer-term, structural facility enhancements.

Eligible expenses include those necessary to help protect both individuals and property from vandalism and other criminal acts, such as upgrades to facility infrastructure including security and monitoring systems, and other security enhancements.

The province also recently announced the creation of a new community liaison on hate crimes to connect directly with ethnic and religious groups and sexual minority communities most targeted by hate-motivated crimes. As well, a provincial Hate Crimes Coordination Unit will be set up to work with law enforcement to improve and harmonize hate crime mitigation efforts across Alberta.

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