British Columbia will receive $30 million over two years to tackle gang violence across the province through programs like Abbotsford’s ‘In it Together’ program, which will hopefully stop the spread of gangs across the Fraser Valley. (Nick Twietmeyer/Kitsap News Group)

Province tackles gang violence one community at a time

Anti-gang program in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon region receives money from B.C. government

Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, today congratulated one of this riding’s gang prevention programs on its recent provincial funding, provided via federal anti-gang support.

“The ‘In It Together’ program at Abbotsford Community Services has been seeking further funding since their five-year, $8 million federal pilot funding expired last September,” Sidhu said. “Needless to say, we’re delighted the province has been able to step in here.”

The newly announced funding is part of the federal government’s $214 million Guns and Gang Violence Initiative Fund—$30 million of which comes to British Columbia.

Announced in March, the first of $5.3 million in funding over two years will go towards funding projects in B.C. aimed at enhancing efforts to understand, prevent, disrupt, and combat gun and gang violence in specific communities struggling with crime. It will include community consultation, targeted training, and development of Indigenous gun and gang violence prevention tools.

And while rural communities like Hope don’t necessarily have gang-related problems, the inter-connectivity of the region makes it a matter important for everyone.

“Gang violence is a huge concern in the Fraser Valley and throughout the country, and one my government is working hard at combating,” Sidhu said.

By tackling gun and gang violence in urban centres like Abbotsford, it makes it that much more difficult for the gangs to spread into neighbouring communities.

“Through better gun regulation, through the appointing of a Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, and through community efforts such as ‘In It Together,’ we are taking a multi-layered approach to a multi-layered problem,” Sidhu continued.

“I will continue to push for more funding in Ottawa to assist this community in this fight. Our at-risk young people deserve nothing less.”


 

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