The March 22 federal budget doubled the funding for groups at risk of hate crimes.
The budget increased the government’s support for the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), which will receive an additional $5 million over five years.
Set up in 2008, the program helps defray the costs of added internal and external security measures, such as lighting, fencing, cameras, motion detectors, signage, security window film and alarm systems, as well as minor construction and labour costs for installing the additional security.
It’s intended for houses of worship, schools and community centres. Projects can receive up to 50 per cent of costs, to a maximum of $100,000 per project.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs welcomed the extra funding, citing a recent report by the Toronto Police Service that said the Jewish community is the most frequently targeted minority in Canada when it comes to hate crimes.
The announcement “reflects the government’s commitment to supporting the security needs of the Jewish community and other at-risk segments of Canadian society,” CIJA said.
In recent years, CIJA has proposed several updates to the SIP program, including allowing institutions that cannot afford the 50-50 formula to apply for grants, and enabling funds to be used for a wider range of security measures.
Cemeteries are not currently eligible for funding under the program, Jean-Philippe Levert, spokesperson for Public Safety Canada, told The CJN.
Asked if the government is considering funding security at cemeteries, Levert said the program is scheduled to undergo an evaluation in 2017-2018.
“No changes are anticipated before the completion of the program evaluation,” he said.