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Funding to prevent gun and gang violence in Regina

Federal government announces $2.96 million from the Building Safer Communities Fund to address root causes of gun crime and gang violence in Regina and area.
Federal MP Pam Damoff and Mayor Sandra Masters on hand for federal announcement of $2.96 million to initiatives to prevent gun and gang violence in Regina.

REGINA - Regina is once again on the receiving end of federal funds, this time to address the root causes leading to gang violence. 

On Friday, Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety appearing on behalf of Minister Marco Mendicino, announced that Regina will receive up to $2.96 million from the Building Safer Communities Fund for community based prevention and intervention strategies to prevent gun crime and gang violence in the region. 

This funding is address underlying conditions that give rise to crime. The plan is for the city of Regina to distribute the funds to community-led projects for young people who are either involved in gangs or at risk of joining them.

The federal funding is part of $250 million distributed nationally from the Building Safer Communities Fund, a fund announced in March 2022 to support local initiatives to prevent gun and gang violence.

“Tragically, we see the impact of criminal activity all too often in Regina and we share the regions resolve to make a difference,” said Damoff. “Gun violence creates a burden and injury on communities that has devastating impacts.”

Damoff noted the importance of investing in communities, noting being tough on crime is not enough. She said local efforts can include housing, reducing poverty, reducing gender based violence and even dental care. 

“We know we can’t arrest our way out of our problems in the streets and in our communities, and that’s why the government is steadfast to its commitment to focus on the grass root causes of gun crime. We know that gun violence is a tragic reality across our country, and we know it often has links to gangs. But far too often we have not addressed the root causes. We are making major efforts to change that because everyone deserves to feel safe in their community, and that sense of safety and security is shattered every time a violent crime takes place. Our efforts have to start there at the community level.”

Mayor Sandra Masters was on hand for the announcement and welcomed the federal funding.

“The city of Regina is committed to working collaboratively with all orders of government to ensure we can foster a safer environment for youth in our community,” said Masters.

“We know that gang related activity is active in our city. In 2021 Regina had the highest rate of firearm-related violent crime out of all the census metropolitan areas of Canada. It affirmed the need to focus on proactive measures that will keep youth from seeking community through gangs.”

Masters said her team has been “actively taking steps to develop a meaningful initiative to support our youth through community engagement and proper planning." She said the city will be taking on an Indigenous consultant to do engagement.

"We did find out about this last summer, and reached out, and what was found is that we need to get together with community service organizations that are serving our youth to understand where programs can be expanded, or where we can create new ones. So we’re thrilled with the opportunity to have this funding.”

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