The Government of Canada is investing $390 million, including over $20 million in Saskatchewan, in programs to help stop gun crime and gang violence before it starts.
The money will be provided over the next five years to provinces and territories to support various initiatives, including support for law enforcement and prevention programs.
Saskatchewan is set to receive $20.5 million, an increase of $8.6 million in funding than the province previously received through the program.
Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Safety, said the safety and security of Canadians is the government’s top priority.
“The best way to keep people safe is to stop crime and violence before it starts,” he said. “Today’s announcement will give additional resources to law enforcement, support young people in making good choices and help our communities thrive. Strong prevention strategies like these are central pillar in our plan to ensure Canadians are safe in their communities.”
The funding is well needed in Saskatchewan, especially in the province’s two largest cities. According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan had the highest rate among Canadian provinces of victimization in firearm-related crime in 2021, at a rate of 82.5 per 100,000 people.
Regina had the highest rate of 68.5 victims per 100,000 people, while Saskatoon had the third-highest rate of 46.7 victims per 100,000.
The funding builds on the initial Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence (ITAAGGV), announced in 2017.