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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024PSSG0044-000747
May 15, 2024
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Communities benefit from support for crime prevention, victim services

VICTORIA – People in British Columbia will benefit from projects working to advance community safety, address gender-based violence and support Indigenous healing through funding from the civil forfeiture grant program.

“Everyone deserves to live in a community that is safe, healthy and secure,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “That means addressing the root causes of crime and making sure victims of crime have the supports they need to thrive again. By redirecting funds from forfeited assets into community organizations and crime prevention projects, we are working toward safer and stronger communities for all British Columbians.”

The civil forfeiture grant program provides funding to support community safety-related projects in British Columbia. As part of the 2023-24 cycle, $8.2 million will support 189 community projects.

These projects are led by local governments, community-based not-for-profit organizations, school districts, health authorities, academic institutions, police departments and Indigenous organizations whose work falls into one of the program’s funding streams:

  • gender-based violence prevention;
  • crime prevention;
  • Indigenous healing;
  • restorative justice;
  • domestic violence and intervention programming;
  • child and youth advocacy centres; and
  • other priority projects.

“Addressing gender-based violence and supporting survivors takes all of government working in collaboration with service providers and community groups,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Funnelling proceeds of crime back into the good work being done by these front-line organizations helps more survivors get the care and support they need to rebuild their lives.”

Out of 189 funded projects, 79 projects will focus on domestic violence prevention and addressing gender-based violence. The 79 projects will receive a total of $3.5 million, which will support the organizations’ work to create culturally safe, trauma-informed solutions to gender-based violence, including violence against women and 2SLGBTQIA+ people in British Columbia.

“With this support, we will ensure that those most marginalized are supported through the family court process and are able to access the resources they need,” said Micki Materi, co-executive director of programs, Archway Society for Domestic Peace. “Trauma, cultural and diversity factors can impede women’s access to justice. Supporting them through the process is essential on their journey to healing.”

The Civil Forfeiture Office was established in 2006 with the purpose of removing the tools and proceeds of unlawful activity and redirecting them 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.

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2006, approximately $82.5 million in civil forfeiture recoveries has been disbursed as grants supporting community organizations in B.C.
  • The Province announced an open call for 2024 grant applications in October 2023.
  • May 12-18, 2024, 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.

Learn More:

To see the list of 2023-24 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

To learn about unexplained wealth orders and other amendments to the Civil Forfeiture Act, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PSSG0022-000415

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
778 405-3306
 

 
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