For the first time ever, the Canadian government is giving money to Jewish institutions to bolster security.
The move marks the first time ever a government in Canada has allocated public funds for Jewish security needs.
Friday’s announcement came from Canada’s public security minister, Stockwell Day, who said the money “allows community centers and places of worship to enhance their sense of safety and to be a deterrent to those who would have malicious aims in acting out their criminal and hate-motivated crimes.”
The grant to the Jewish groups is the first made under the $3 million Security Infrastructure Pilot Program, established by Canada’s Conservative government last summer to help ethnic and religious communities combat hate crimes.
The money will go to community centers, Jewish schools, synagogues and a Jewish burial society in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Owen Sound, Ontario. It is meant for security equipment and hardware such as alarm systems, cameras, fences, lighting and intercom systems.
Jewish communities across Canada have been advised to review security measures in the wake of threats from Hezbollah following the assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyah in Damascus on Feb. 12.
A condition of the grant is that recipients match the amount, either dollar for dollar or with services in kind.
In Toronto, the money is on top of $3 million the local United Jewish Appeal has allocated for security over the last three years.