Personal property used by criminals may be forfeited sans court order in certain conditions
Ontario is reinvesting $1.5 million in cash and proceeds seized from criminals through the Civil Remedies Grant Program to assist law enforcement agencies and community partners in fighting back against the crime and victimization that threaten their communities.
“Our government is committed to strengthening every available tool, including civil forfeiture, to help police, prosecutors and local partners confront and dismantle the criminal networks that prey on our communities,” said Doug Downey, Ontario’s attorney general in the provincial government’s news release.
The initiatives of the 18 funded community projects seeking to support victims of crime, to break the cycle of crime or to help in preventing intimate partner, family, gun and gang violence are the following, according to a backgrounder:
- Angels of Hope Against Human Trafficking, Northeastern Ontario Youth Compassion Groups and Human Trafficking Workshops — $64,300
- Barrie Police Service, Inside Out Youth Prevention Program — $100,000
- Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington, Intimate Partner Violence Response — $67,480
- Catholic Family Services of Durham, DRIVEN Program Providing Gender-Based Violence Support — $74,100
- Community Family Services of Ontario, Greater Toronto Area Child/Youth Abuse Prevention: Culturally Relevant Programming for Newcomer East Asian Individuals in the Greater Toronto Area — $96,965
- Centr'elles: Centre des femmes francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario Connexion virtuelle avec les femmes d'expression française dans toutes les régions du Nord-Ouest de l'Ontario, Thunder Bay — $100,000
- Child Development Institute, Online Early Assessment Risk List (EARL-V3) — $100,000
- John Howard Society of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton, Healthy Families — $72,375
- Liberian Association of Canada, Resilience — $95,000
- Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Legal Clinic — $100,000
- Nishnawbe Aski Police Services, Northern Ontario, Project Northern — $99,946
- Sexual Assault Centre of Brant, Revolutionizing and Re-envisioning Remote Sexual Violence Support, Prevention and Education Work — $58,995
- Treaty Three Police Services Inc., Treaty Three Police Youth Cadet Program — $100,000
- Wanasah: Mental Health Services for Black Youth, Toronto Mothers to Daughters Healing Initiative — $99,960
- The Corporation of the City of Windsor, WPS CARES (Windsor Police Service, Community Accessible Resource Education Support) — $100,000
- York Region Centre for Community Safety Integrated Services: Holistic Supports for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Family Violence — $69,639
- The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board, Aurora Project Oracle — $100,000
- Youth Assisting Youth, Toronto and York Region, Crime Prevention Through Empowerment — $99,204
Changes to strengthen the Civil Remedies Act, passed under the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, permit personal property used by a criminal for illegal activities to be forfeited without a court order if no interested individual has disputed the forfeiture.
The Civil Remedies Grant Program enables the forfeiture of property or money resulting from crime. Eligible applicants include Ontario police services, not-for-profit groups, community agencies and Indigenous communities, and organizations aiming to assist victims of crime or promote crime prevention.
Last year, the province reinvested $2.5 million in cash and proceeds from criminals to fund 33 local projects to combat human trafficking in Ontario communities.