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  • News
  • July 22, 2015

Ontario Supporting At-risk Youth in Ottawa

Ontario expands opportunities to help youth stay out of gang-related trouble

Ontario is helping at-risk youth avoid or leave gangs and develop stronger ties in their community. As part of the Enhanced Youth Action Plan, Ottawa and other priority communities will benefit from the Gang Prevention/Intervention Program to build a sense of belonging and prevent youth violence.


This program, to be delivered by local community agencies and organizations, takes an evidence-based approach to lowering the amount of young people who become involved in gangs. Ottawa will receive nearly $700,000 over three years for The Gang Prevention / Intervention Program to encourage the rehabilitation of youth and their reintegration back into positive community settings. Programs will also be available in Windsor, Thunder Bay and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).


Under the enhanced and expanded Youth Action Plan, Ontario is investing $55 million over three years to support more high-risk youth and additional high-needs communities across the province. This enhanced plan builds on the success of the Ontario Youth Action Plan which was released in 2012.


The enhanced plan is based on five pillars:

  • Best Start, Right Start – providing early and ongoing support to help young people make better choices and successfully transition into their teen years with initiatives like Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) and the development of a Middle Years Strategy
  • Safe Communities – laying the foundation for keeping youth and communities safe like Youth Justice Family Workers and a new Restorative Justice and Conflict Mediation Program
  • Youth Well-being – decreasing risk factors such as disengagement with school, unemployment and antisocial activity through programs like the Youth Outreach Worker Program and the province wide expansion of the Youth Opportunities Fund
  • Youth Engagement – addressing barriers to social inclusion and creating more positive opportunities for newcomer and Aboriginal youth, through measures including a new Youth Mentorship Program
  • Working Together, Building on Success – working together with the private sector and community providers to create new opportunities for youth through programs like the Private Sector Jobs and Mentorship Initiative


The enhanced Ontario Youth Action Plan is part of the government’s plan to give every child the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life. It is also part of the government's four-part plan to build Ontario up through investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.




“This $233,000 investment is great news for our community and will go a long way in helping ensure that youth who are at-risk and facing hardships have the supports they require to succeed. I look forward to continuing to work with community partners who, with help from this new fund, will be able to build on their success and continue to make a real difference in the lives of countless at-risk youth in Ottawa and across Ontario”


John Fraser, MPP Ottawa South


“With Ontario’s expanded Youth Action Plan, Ottawa will receive nearly $700,000 over three years to help at-risk youth avoid or leave gangs and become contributing members of their community. This is essential to ensure our youth have support to make better choices and to keep our communities safe.


-Marie-France Lalonde, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans


“With the hard work and dedication of our community partners, the Ontario Youth Action Plan has had tremendous success in making a real difference in the lives of countless at-risk youth in communities across the province. Through our enhanced Youth Action Plan, a near doubling of our investment in at-risk youth, we are making one of the largest investments in at-risk youth in our province’s history. This will build on the past successes of the Youth Action Plan, reaching more at-risk youth in more high-needs communities, giving them greater opportunity to succeed.”


Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services


“The $55 Million of dedicated funding that we are investing across the province and nearly $700,000 over three years to our community here in Ottawa, is a vital support to our youth at risk and those in vulnerable communities, helping them to develop new relationships and skills, and providing opportunities where there were previously barriers. Encouraging positive community engagement and strengthening opportunities for youth is a key part of our work to build stronger and safer communities in Ottawa and across Ontario.”

Yasir Naqvi, ‎MPP Ottawa Centre




  • Gang awareness training has been provided over the past year to over 500 front-line staff working in youth justice programs/services across the province, including staff in the Ottawa area.
  • The youth violent crime rate has declined by 30 per cent between 2003 and 2013. The Ontario government has contributed to this decline through a range of investments and opportunities for at-risk youth.
  • Currently, Youth Action Plan initiatives are positively impacting 27,500 youth per year in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor. 
  • The enhanced plan will provide an additional estimated 37,000 opportunities to the highest needs youth across the province. 





Read about our Youth Action Plan

Find out how Ontario is supporting youth through Stepping Up

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