Anti-hate Crime Grant Helps Ottawa Youth
McGuinty Government Building Stronger Communities
OTTAWA -- Youth targeted by hate crimes will benefit from the delivery of a one-day community forum, led by the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.
The forum will bring together youth, parents, youth justice workers, police services and justice system professionals to increase vigilance against hate crimes and improve support for victims.
The one-day forum is one of 23 anti-hate crime projects across the province funded as part of the Ontario government's $1.35-million anti-hate crime initiative.
"Using this $70,000 grant, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa will be able to build better links among communities that are all too often targeted by hate," said Attorney General Chris Bentley.
Youth Services Bureau will employ several youth to engage the community, and plan, organize and develop the delivery of the one-day forum. Youth will be supported by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Two-Spirit and Questioning (GLBTTQ) Youth Service Provider Network. The network is a committee representing several organizations that has provided services to Ottawa's GLBTTQ youth.
Input from the forum will increase awareness and understanding of hate-motivated acts and foster community partnerships to decrease victimization of GLBTTQ youth.
"This funding will help make Ottawa a safer community by allowing us to work with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Two-Spirit and Questioning youth to develop responses to hate crimes they may encounter," said Brian Ford, former Ottawa Chief of Police and President of the Youth Services Bureau's Board of Directors.
Today's funding announcement is part of the government's commitment to improving the province's response to hate crimes and supports for victims, who are often targeted on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion or sexual identity.
The grants are the result of recommendations of the Ontario Hate Crimes Community Working Group, established in 2005.
"We are very pleased to support the Youth Services Bureau, which helps teens most in need to increase their self-esteem and confidence," said Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre.
"Understanding diversity plays a major role in the growth and quality of life of our community," said Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier. "We are pleased to support the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa as it continues to build positive relationships and create opportunities to share, accept and embrace our many differences."
"This grant will help us deliver a program that is important to help make youth stronger and better able to respond to crimes of hate," said Jim Watson, MPP Ottawa West-Nepean. "Through this initiative, everyone in our community will be encouraged to take responsibility for addressing the issues."
"This grant program continues to move us in the right direction," said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci. "I am proud of investments such as this, which reflect our commitment to fight hate crimes and support the victims."