Ajax lends grant specialist to local cultural organizations for applications to Ontario’s Anti-Hate Security fund

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Published February 8, 2022 at 12:42 pm

The Town of Ajax is lending its grant specialist to local religious and cultural organizations to help them apply for Ontario’s Anti-Hate grants, designed to protect their communities from hate crime.

The Province announced the $25 million Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations program last week.

The program offers funds to eligible organizations to cover the costs of new security measures and response training for staff.

“We hope this grant will help to support the important work these groups are doing and empower communities most at risk of being targeted with hate-motivated crime feel safer and more secure,” said Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.”

Eligible organizations must be a charity or non-profit that holds spiritual or culturally significant in-door gatherings at least once a month in a facility they own or lease. If they qualify, they can apply for a grant up to $10,000 based on the organization’s revenue.

The one-time grant can be used for a variety of security needs, such as cleaning off graffiti, and installing CCTV cameras or motion sensors. It also covers construction costs of security doors, alarms, fences, gates and lighting among other projects. The cost of these project must be accrued between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

A full list of eligibility criteria can be found on the application page. The application deadline is a few weeks away at 11:59 p.m. March 3.

“In recent years we have seen a disturbing rise in community-reported hate related crimes, including increased acts of antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Asian racism, which has placed tremendous burden on faith based and cultural organizations,” said Gill.

“Creating safer communities and protecting the rights of everyone to live free of fear and intimidation will help build a more inclusive and equitable Ontario,” he continued.

Ajax is stepping up to support the initiative by way of the Town’s Grants and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Madison Ciponi. Mayor Shaun Collier credited Ciponi’s work for securing $3.7 million for the Town in his Live with the Mayor address in December.

“Ajax is proud to be home to numerous faith-based and cultural organizations, and their ability to celebrate and worship safely is a priority for this Council,” said Collier.

“This new grant from the Ontario government will provide funding for safety measures and security projects to ensure the gathering places in our community are kept safe,” Collier continued, “It is my hope that by making the Town’s grant assistance available to the community, more organizations will be able to take advantage of this funding opportunity.”

Religious, spiritual and cultural organizations looking for for help in applying for the grants can contact Ciponi via email at [email protected] or by calling 365-885-2754.

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