TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing an additional $20.5 million this year, to help address the rise of hate incidents against religious and minority groups, particularly amid the recent spike in antisemitism and Islamophobia.
The new funding, prioritizing Jewish and Muslim communities, will expand the province’s Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant, helping faith-based and cultural organizations implement measures to ensure community spaces remain safe and secure.
“The rise in antisemitic, Islamophobic and other acts of hate we have seen in recent weeks is completely unacceptable and has no place in Ontario,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “We stand firm in our support of Ontario’s Muslim and Jewish communities and will continue to work with them, and all faith-based and cultural groups, to ensure their safety.”
The funding will provide community facilities, including synagogues, mosques, community hubs and Jewish and Muslim schools and childcare centres, with up to $20,000 to help better protect their spaces from hate-motivated incidents, graffiti, vandalism or other damage. Grant funding can be used for measures such as hiring security staff, surveillance cameras, security assessments, cybersecurity, and building repairs.
“Acts of antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate have no place in Ontario and are toxic to our democracy,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “People of all faiths have the inherent right to feel safe in their communities and their places of worship deserve respect. This strategic investment will support these institutions in making facility enhancements to further protect their patrons and their property.”
This $20.5 million investment builds on the $12.5 million provided to over 1,400 faith-based and cultural organizations through the first round of the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant. Previous recipients of the grant are eligible for a top-up payment. The application portal opens on December 14, 2023.
- The new dedicated stream of funding will provide up to a maximum of $20,000 per non-profit organization, based on its revenues.
- From October 7 to November 20, the Toronto Police Service reported 55 hate crimes and 280 hate-graffiti incidents related to antisemitism or Islamophobia. This represents a significant increase compared to the same time last year with 14 hate crimes and 21 hate-motivated graffiti related to antisemitism or Islamophobia reported.
- Since 2021, the government has allocated a total of $86 million in grants and programs to protect faith and cultural communities.
- All faith-based, cultural, 2SLGBTQQIA+, First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous organizations who need support and meet the criteria are eligible to receive funding; however, priority will be given to those that primarily serve Jewish and Muslim communities.
- Based on 2021 StatsCan Police Reported Hate Crime data, Jewish and Muslim communities are among those most targeted.
“This new dedicated stream of the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant is an important step in the right direction. The Muslim community has seen a 1,300% rise in hate incidents in the last few weeks. We need to continue to ensure the safety of our communities.”
– Uthman Quick
Director of Communications, National Council of Canadian Muslims
“CIJA is grateful that, in this time of escalating antisemitism, Minister Ford and the Government of Ontario are taking significant measures to protect and safeguard the Jewish community from hate-motivated crime. This emergency funding is necessary to keep our communities safe from targeted attacks on Jewish childcare centres, schools and places of worship.”
– Jaime Kirzner-Roberts
Vice President – GTA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
SOURCE Province of Ontario