Anti-hate crime grant gives $25.5M to places of worship and cultural groups for security in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, and Ontario


Published May 5, 2023 at 10:52 am

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Places of worship and cultural communities in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton and across Ontario can help prevent and protect themselves from hate-motivated attacks through a new grant from the province.

Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Michael Ford made the announcement in Brampton on Friday that the province is pledging $25.5 million over two years for the new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant.

The program will provide up to $10,000 to help religious groups as well as Indigenous and cultural communities for upgrades like enhanced locks, security cameras, building improvements and hiring security.

“No Ontarian should live in fear based on the colour of their skin, who they worship or who they love,” Ford said at the announcement.

Ford said the funding “moves the needle in the right direction” towards combating and preventing hate-motivated crime in the province.

Organizations eligible for funding under the grant include:

  • Religious and spiritual communities like mosques, synagogues, temples, and churches
  • First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban Indigenous organizations
  • Cultural groups, including 2SLGBTQQIA+ groups, Black, Asian and other diverse organizations

Applications for the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will open in summer 2023, the province said.

There were more than 1,500 police-reported hate crimes in Ontario in 2021, according to the province with Indigenous, Black, Muslim, Jewish and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities as the most targeted groups in recent years.

Abdullatif Bakbak of the Muslim Association of Canada welcomed the funding announcement and said the grant will give organizations much-needed security and support.

“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,” Bakbak said in a statement. “We believe that this grant is a significant step towards combating hate in Ontario.”

Mississauga and Brampton have seen a number of hate-motivated incidents and crimes at places of worship so far this year.

Just last month Peel Regional Police say two youths broke into a Brampton mosque and stole multiple items belonging to members of the mosque and a car.

Back in January, priests at Shri Gauri Shankar Mandir on Queen Street in Brampton found graffiti on the temple and Mississauga’s Ram Mandir was also vandalized in February.

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