Feds fund Airdrie youth crime outreach programs

File photo of Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, taken on July 28, 2020. Bruce Aalhus/ Global News

The federal government is putting more than $1 million into Airdrie, funding that’s designed to help prevent gun crime and gang violence in Alberta’s fifth-largest city.

The funds will support community-led projects for young people involved in gangs or at risk of joining them.

The announcement for the funds was made at Airdrie City Hall with Mayor Peter Brown and MP George Chahal.

On behalf of the federal Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc, Chahal, MP for nearby Calgary Skyview, said the government’s number one priority is to keep Canadians safe.

“Crime prevention and intervention initiatives are critical to giving young people in Airdrie every chance at success. We must stop gun and gang violence before it starts,” Chahal said in a statement.

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The funds going into the city come from the Building Safer Communities Fund, following an extension and expansion of the program last year.

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Calgary community groups receive $7.7M to enhance public safety

Brown called the announcement an “investment in Airdrie’s young people.”

“Bullying is not gun and gang violence, but we recognize that when it escalates, it can lead to increased risk for vulnerable youth,” the mayor said in a statement. “We would like to thank Public Safety Canada for their support to prevent youth violence and enable the development of community education and training, and wrap-around support services for youth.

“These important initiatives will help Airdrie continue to be a safe, welcoming, and inclusive city to raise a family.”

In July 2023, nearby Calgary received $7.7 million from the same fund, which that city allocated to a wide variety of community- and youth-oriented programs.

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