Ontario Investing in Safer and Vital Communities

 Funding will help combat racism and hate crime 

 February 19, 2021 

AJAX, ON — The Ontario Government is investing up to $2.6 million over two years through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) grant to help communities combat hate-motivated crime. The funding will help 26 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils, in collaboration with their police partners, implement local projects that tackle discrimination, foster greater inclusiveness and address the increase of police-reported hate crime. 

As part of this grant cycle, Girls Incorporated of Durham, in partnership with Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) will receive $105,100 in funding over 2 years for the youth lead community leadership planning and action program, By Me, For Me”. 

This joint initiative will empower vulnerable and marginalized girls and young women to co-produce, in equal partnership with a range of local service providers, activities and programs to enhance safety, inclusiveness, and well-being in Durham Region. 

“Our Government has zero tolerance for hate and racism in any form, and we continue to be focused on advancing community-based solutions to ensure Ontarians can overcome these real-life barriers,” said Rod Phillips, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ajax. “Special programs like “By Me, For Me” empower our youth to develop skills such as empathy, conflict resolution, and critical thinking, which will contribute to the prevention of hate crimes in Durham Region and Ontario.” 

“I am pleased with this extraordinary investment in support of the “By Me, For Me” program which will assist young women and girls to become agents of social change, and positively influence and strengthen their own local communities.” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Chief Government Whip. “Our Government is working together with community organizations like Girls Incorporated of Durham to provide youth with the tools and opportunities they need to make a difference in the inclusiveness and safety of Durham communities.” 

“I am proud to support services that cultivate equitable, inclusive and safe environments and contribute to the prevention of hate crimes in our local community,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “Innovative multi-pronged programs such as “By Me, For Me” will target educational programs and create cross sector partnerships in social organizations that will increase access supports for the youth in Pickering-Uxbridge and across Durham Region.” 

“Funding to combat racism and discrimination in Durham Region is a step in the right direction,” said Lindsey Park, MPP Durham. “This funding will help Girls Inc. continue to empower girls and young women to become agents of social change and positively influence and improve their own local communities.” 

The Safer and Vital Communities Grant will also complement Ontario’s new $1.6 million Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Grant, which is currently being designed in collaboration with community groups to create effective solutions based on lived experiences and local needs. 


  • According to Statistics Canada, in 2017 police-reported criminal incidents in Canada motivated by hate jumped by 47 per cent over the previous year. The largest provincial increase occurred in Ontario at 67 per cent. 
  • The Safer and Vital Communities Grant is open to community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils. 
  • Grant recipients 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.