Alberta Security Infrastructure Program

Alberta Security Infrastructure Program

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk
MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

It breaks my heart that I have to write to you about a topic like this. However, at the same time, our government is standing up to hate. In June the government announced the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program. A total of $500,000 will be available, with applicants eligible for up to $10,000 to assist with training and security assessments, as well as up to $90,000 for security infrastructure.

Some recent events have seen Albertans targeted for their faith in both Calgary and Edmonton. The attacks on religion have unfortunately escalated and we have seen churches across Alberta and Canada vandalized. Some churches have been defaced with paint, and the St. Jean Baptiste Parish Church in Morinville was destroyed by what the RCMP refers to as suspected arson. That building was over a century old! Thankfully, no one was hurt in these hateful acts.

While the regular grant call will accept applications later this year, funding is now available for not-for-profit organizations and groups associated with facilities facing an immediate threat. Eligible expenses include those necessary to help protect both individuals and property from vandalism and other criminal acts. These upgrades include facility infrastructure such as security and monitoring systems, and other security enhancements. Up to $12,000 per applicant is available

Also, in June, Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu announced that a community liaison will be appointed to work directly with ethnic and religious groups and communities most targeted by hate-motivated crimes. The liaison will then report to the government with recommendations on how to deal with these serious problems.

Minister Madu also announced a provincial Hate Crimes Coordination Unit will be formed as well. This unit will support law enforcement, which includes strengthening the approach to prosecuting people who are charged with these despicable crimes.