Funding for anti-gang school programs

Province pledges money to fund presentations led by ex-gangster.

B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton speaks Tuesday during an announcement of funding for an anti-gang initiative.

B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton speaks Tuesday during an announcement of funding for an anti-gang initiative.

The provincial government announced $10,000 in funding last week for an anti-gang program in schools around the province.

B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton made the announcement at Abbotsford Community Services, noting that the urgency to push back against gangs was underscored by the recent murder of Ping Shun Ao, an innocent bystander who was killed by a stray bullet in Abbotsford two months ago. The incident was linked to the so-called Townline Hill conflict, which has seen two groups of about 40 men fighting over drug territory.

Anton called Ao’s death “a solemn reminder that the effects of gangs in B.C. are not isolated to those involved” in such groups.

“These incidents must stop,” she added.

The funding announced Tuesday will go to the End Gang Life program, which sees ex-gangster Jordan Buna make presentations in schools. Buna talks about his own life, and the consequences of getting involved in a gang.

The presentation has also recently been translated to Punjabi to reach a broader segment of the population.