The Ontario government is investing $1.7 million over the next two years in community-based programs to combat hate-motivated crimes.
The funding will flow through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) Grant to not-for-profit organizations and First Nation Band Councils.
Applicants are required to partner with their local police service and are encouraged to partner with at least one other organization from a different sector to ensure a broad range of community engagement.
The Safer and Vital Communities Grant is open to community-based, not-for-profit organizations as well as Indigenous community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nation Band Councils to implement local projects that tackle hate-motivated crime and address the increase of police-reported hate crime in Ontario.
The theme of this year's grant program is Preventing Hate-Motivated Crime through Community Collaboration.
To be eligible, applicants must address hate-motivated crime in their community through programs and strategies.
Applications could include recreational programs that positively affect the development of children and youth, raising awareness of hate-motivated crimes, as well as the improvement of security infrastructure.
Successful applicants and projects will be announced in the winter of 2021.
Applications for the Safer and Vital Communities Grant are open from July 22 to September 16.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2017, police-reported criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate jumped by 47 per cent over the previous year. The largest provincial increase occurred in Ontario at 67 per cent.
The $1.7-million investment will be made over two years from 2020 to 2022.