Ontario July 4, 2007 - The McGuinty government is providing $1.35 million to fund new projects to help address hate crimes, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today.

"Our government has zero tolerance for hate crimes," said Bryant.  "This new grant program responds to several recommendations of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group, which we established to suggest ways to improve the response to these crimes.  We are now calling for grant proposals from agencies and organizations so they can get started on this important work."

The government will fund four kinds of community-based initiatives under this program:

  • Projects to enhance community resources and/or address gaps in services to victims of hate crimes
  • A hate crime forum to strengthen networks and share information among victims groups, educators and members of the criminal justice system
  • A website for victims containing provincewide information about hate crimes and victim services
  • Templates for community-based victim impact statements, for use in court.

Applications for the grants are being accepted by the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat of the Ministry of the Attorney General until August 24, 2007.  Projects will need to be completed by March 31, 2008.  Application forms are available on the ministry's website.

All incorporated, not-for-profit organizations with the expertise to successfully complete the projects are eligible to apply.  These include: community-based social and human services agencies, victim services providers, victim advocacy organizations, police services, schools, First Nations, Aboriginal not-for-profit organizations and Métis Nation of Ontario Charter Communities.

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee, to include community members from different parts of the province, a staff member from the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat and a representative from the Office for Victims of Crime, an agency that advises the Attorney General on ways to ensure that the principles set out in the Victims' Bill of Rights are followed. "This is a unique opportunity for our government to make a real difference in the lives of victims of hate crimes," said Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  "We look forward to working with community organizations to better protect Ontarians and to build safe and tolerant communities."   

"Many communities are enthusiastic about developing these projects to counter and prevent hate crime in Ontario," said Dr. Karen Mock, chair of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group.  "I am pleased about the potential of these projects to help victims of hate crimes and that results will be widely shared when the projects are complete, to further build the capacity for community response."

"Our government will continue to uphold the rights of all people in Ontario to live with dignity and respect and in safety," said Bryant.  "In helping communities targeted by those who hate, we are helping to build a better future for our children."

Source: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/