TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) — The Ontario government has pledged 1.7 million taxpayer dollars to “combat the rise in hate crime.”
On January 15, the Ontario government, headed by Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford, announced a $1.7 million grant to prevent hate-motivated crimes across the province, as part of a two-year program through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) Grant.
“Acts that incite hatred, fear and intimidation have no place in our communities,” Solicitor General Michael Kerzner said in a press release.
“That is why our government is making additional investments to help combat the rise in hate crime and support community-based organizations that are working to address the root causes of hate in all its forms,” he added.
The grant is open to community-based, non-profit organizations and First Nation Band Councils and will give successful applicants $85,000 for each of the two years to combat “hate crime.”
According to the press release, the theme of this program is “Preventing Hate-Motivated Crime Through Community Collaboration with a focus on cultural, ethnic and faith-based hate in communities that have experienced an increase in hate-motivated crime.”
The new grant builds on the Ontario government’s $20.5 million program by the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism to combat “antisemitism and Islamophobia.”
“There is zero tolerance for hate, racism and discrimination in Ontario,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
“Our government continues to be focused on taking action to address the disturbing rise in hate incidents and build a stronger Ontario where everyone feels safe and protected,” he continued. “The Safer and Vital Communities Grant will help empower communities to work together to combat hate, keep communities safe and foster a more inclusive and welcoming province for all.”
In Canada, “hate crimes” in 2022 increased 20 percent from 2021, with a total of 1,721 incidents of police-reported hate crimes, according to the press release.
However, the press release did not provide details on what would be considered a hate crime. While it mentioned “antisemitism and Islamophobia,” it failed to comment on the increased attacks against churches across Canada.
According to a map created by independent media outlet True North, 44 churches have been burned, while 52 others have been vandalized since 2021.
Most of the attacks took place in Western Canada, primarily Alberta and British Columbia. Kamloops, British Columbia is where the claim of unmarked graves first emerged.
Four of the 96 churches were burned in December. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are still searching for the arsonists.