TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing approximately $1.7 million over two years in the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) Grant Program to strengthen community safety and well-being across the province by encouraging community collaboration to help fight the rapid increase in cybercrime. The theme for the 2022-24 SVC grant is “Preventing Cybercrime through Community Collaboration” with priority given to the areas of hate crime, human trafficking, and fraud. “Collaboration among community partners is important to help increase awareness of online crimes – especially hate crimes, human trafficking and fraud – and reduce the risk to public safety,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “With this investment, we are ensuring key public safety partners have the resources needed to help prevent their community from becoming a victim of cybercrime.” This new investment will help community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nation Band Councils implement local safety and well-being projects, focused on awareness building and prevention of cybercrime. These projects will engage a range of community partners, including the police, through collaboration and partnership.
Some examples of projects could include:
Developing educational campaigns to help increase awareness about cybercrime, focusing on hate crimes, human trafficking, and fraud, and how criminals can use computers, networks, and digital devices to target members of a community.
Implementing cybercrime prevention strategies focused on youth and young adults who are increasingly at risk due to spending extended periods online.
Developing online training resources to address cybersecurity threats, including phishing, business email compromise, or malware.
Developing educational and community outreach programs to build sustainable, empowering, and positive relationships between newcomer, immigrant, and refugee residents and law enforcement.
Applicants are required to partner with their local police service and are encouraged to partner with at least one other organization in a sector different from their own to ensure a broad range of community engagement. Projects should also consider aligning their proposed initiatives with their local community safety and well-being plan. Applications for the SVC Grant are available from Transfer Payment Ontario. The deadline to apply is March 4, 2022.
SVC Grant applicants may request up to $55,000 for each of the two years.
From 2019 to 2020 there was a 38 per cent increase of cybercrime incidents in Ontario.
In 2020, the rate of cybercrime in Ontario was 176.8 out of 100,000 individuals.
Police services and their boards, municipalities, governmental agencies, hospitals, and educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and schools are not eligible to apply but can be project partners.