New funding advances public safety, connects victims with services
VICTORIA – People throughout the province will benefit from projects that advance community safety and crime-prevention initiatives, assist people experiencing gender-based violence, and support Indigenous people recovering from trauma.
The Civil Forfeiture Grant Program provides funding to support community-safety-related projects throughout British Columbia. As part of the 2022-23 cycle, $9.7 million will support 197 community projects and fund police equipment and training, with $3.7 million collected from forfeited recoveries as well as $6 million from provincial funding.
“Our government is committed to building a safer B.C. by redirecting the profits of crime back into the local community,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Crime should never pay, and the seized funds collected through the sale of forfeited assets will help our local partners support victims and fight back against the cycle of repeat offending. By working together with community partners, we are creating stronger, more resilient communities.”
These projects are led by local governments, community-based not-for-profit organization, school districts, health authorities, academic institutions, police departments and Indigenous organizations.
“Many of the community programs and initiatives being supported will help with prevention of gender-based violence, support survivors and provide specialized services, such as for youth and people who may be more at risk, which will make our communities stronger for everyone,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.
This year, 80 projects tackling gender-based violence and preventing domestic violence are sharing $3.4 million. These projects will work to develop and enhance culturally relevant, culturally safe and trauma-informed responses to gender-based violence, including violence against women, in communities throughout the province.
“We are grateful for the province’s valuable support and contribution, and we are committed to using the funds to empower women on their journey toward healing and strength,” said Jatinder Bhatti, executive director of Tri-City Transitions Society. “With this support, we can create an additional protective layer that will prevent further victimization and trauma for women and children who have experienced abuse. By having someone in contact with them when they leave our transition house, we can ensure that they will have ongoing support and guidance as they transition to a new phase in their lives.”
The Civil Forfeiture Office was established in 2006 with the purpose of removing the tools and proceeds of unlawful activity and redirecting them back into programs that support community safety and crime-prevention initiatives. Several amendments to the Civil Forfeiture Act have been introduced, including the creation of unexplained wealth orders, which assist government in removing the benefits of organized crime by addressing common money-laundering techniques, such as hiding assets with family members or associates.
- Since 2006, the Civil Forfeiture Grant Program has provided more than $76 million to support community organizations throughout B.C.
- The Province announced an open call for this year’s grant applications in October 2022.
- Grant funding is allocated through funding streams related to public safety. These streams include gender-based violence; crime prevention; Indigenous healing; restorative justice; domestic violence and intervention programming; and child and youth advocacy centres.
- May 14-20, 2023, is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, which raises awareness about the issues facing victims of crime and the services and supports in place to assist victims, survivors and their families.
To see the full list of 2022-23 grant recipients, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/crime-prevention/community-crime-prevention/grants
For information about victim services, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/bcs-criminal-justice-system/understanding-criminal-justice/key-parts/victim-services
Learn about unexplained wealth orders and other amendments to the Civil Forfeiture Act: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PSSG0022-000415
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General