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VIDEO: Federal anti-gang and gun violence fund has spent more than $12 million so far in B.C.

More announcements expected
Township of Langley mayor Eric Woodward, Cloverdale–Langley City MP John Aldag, and Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal at a Wednesday, Jan. 25 announcement of $2.86 in federal funding to fight gun and gang violence in both communities. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

In one week, a federal program to help fight gang and gun violence has announced deals worth $12.59 million with several B.C. communities in Metro Vancouver — and more is coming.

The latest announcement will provide up to $2.86 million to Langley City and the Township of Langley — $916,568.04 to the City, and $1,949,774.64 to the Township.

Cloverdale–Langley City MP John Aldag made the announcement at a Wednesday, Jan. 25 press conference at Langley City Hall.

Aldag said the money, from the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF) announced by the federal government in March, “will support young people in Langley to find belonging and pathways away from gun and gang violence.”

It was the fifth BSCF grant to be announced in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley since Wednesday, Jan. 18, with more to come, Aldag said.

Burnaby is getting $2.97 million from the BSCF, the District of North Vancouver will receive up to $1.779 million, Richmond will receive up to $2.68 million, and the City of Coquitlam will receive up to $2.24 million.

The municipalities will decide how the money is used, Aldag said.

Communities were selected based on crime severity statistics (homicide by firearm, incidents of firearms offences, organized crime/street gang-involved crime) and population density.

READ ALSO: Langley City takes brunt of regional crime, statistics show

City mayor Nathan Pachal and Township mayor Eric Woodward, along with councillors from both communities, were on hand for the announcement.

Pachal said the fund “will support young people in Langley to find belonging and pathways away from gun and gang violence. BSCF enables Langley City to invest in projects to prevent violence through mentoring, counselling, skills development, and recreational programming for young people in our community.”

“Improving public safety requires more than just more police officers,” Woodward said.

“It also involves financial support for needed investments in local initiatives like these aimed at preventing gang violence and improving our youth’s well-being.”

READ ALSO: Father of Langley mass shooting victim lobbies for new homeless shelter

A statement by federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said the fund “will help support at-risk youth to make healthier choices and better set themselves up for success in life.”

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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