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Canada funds $2.24M for Coquitlam gang violence prevention programs

The money is a piece of a $250-million national pot that hopes to reduce crime, build safer communities and support youth outreach programs.
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A Coquitlam business was subject of a search warrant on Dec. 1, 2022, in which RCMP seized dozens of firearms earmarked for trafficking.

Coquitlam is getting a financial boost from Ottawa to crack down on local gun and gang violence.

A total of $2.24 million in federal funding has been earmarked for the city to launch projects that focus on reducing and preventing crimes.

Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon made the announcement on Monday (Jan. 23) on behalf of Canada's public safety minister Marco Mendicino. The money is coming through the federal government's $250-million Building Safe Communities Fund (BSCF).

The money will also help support local initiatives to increase awareness about the impacts of gang involvement, especially among young people.

In a news release, McKinnon said the funding "will help our at-risk youth make better choices and set themselves up for success." 

The allocation will help address the "underlying conditions that give rise to crime," the federal government's statement added.

There have been several shootings in Coquitlam in the last two years; nine in 2021 and six in 2022.

Several were linked to Lower Mainland gang conflict, according to the RCMP.

"Regional gang and gun violence has no regard for municipal boundaries and fighting crime begins with preventing crime," said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.

"We want to ensure bright futures for high-risk and vulnerable youth who have faced intensified social and mental health challenges over the last three years. But municipalities cannot do this work alone."

In 2021, Statistics Canada said, 46 per cent of firearm-related homicides were identified as gang-related.

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