Ottawa, ON — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the Government of Canada’s 2021-22 Budget:
“This afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland tabled the Government of Canada’s Budget for 2021-2022, its first in two years, which seeks to find a balance between supporting Canadians financially and investing in Canada’s economic recovery, both driven by the ongoing global pandemic.
First, the National Police Federation is pleased to see that the federal government provided much needed and necessary investments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and assist Canadians, with investments in childcare, the environment, housing and transit, and some areas of policing and public safety that have been facing considerable pressure even before COVID-19.
It includes $100 million over three years to support innovative mental health interventions for first responders and Canadians disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, as well as $50 million over two years to support a trauma and PTSD stream of mental health programming for populations at high risk of experiencing COVID-19 trauma. A nearly equivalent amount, plus ongoing annual funding, will go to much needed mental health care costs for struggling veterans.
We also welcome the recognition by the government that First Nations policing is an essential service and as such the commitments to expand the First Nations Policing Program, and invest $108.6 million over five years to repair, renovate, and replace policing facilities in First Nation and Inuit communities.
And finally, we are pleased to see the commitment of $312 million over five years, and $41.4 million ongoing, towards protecting Canadians from gun violence and curb gun smuggling and trafficking. This is a good first step to bolstering the RCMP Border Integrity Program and enable the RCMP to keep communities and Canadians safe.
These are all important and much needed investments.
However, we are disappointed the federal government chose to not announce investment in strengthening resources for the RCMP as the government continues to expand the RCMP’s mandate and responsibilities across Canada – both of which have been further exacerbated by the risks and demands of COVID-19.
The 2020 Fall Economic Statement delivered on one of the three (body-worn cameras), but our remaining two asks have never been more prescient, as COVID-19 has created a critical backlog in the training of new
RCMP recruits at Depot and old (25-year) and unsafe service pistols must be replaced. This backlog will impact recruiting and training for years to come, jeopardizing public and Member safety.
The NPF will continue to advocate for adequate funding and resourcing for our Members, without which rising vacancy rates will put additional stress on Members who are already shouldering an ever-increasing workload and dealing with growing stress and exhaustion.
It therefore remains imperative that the federal government address these challenges, especially financial and human resources ones, to allow the RCMP to meet both current and future demands.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
National Police Federation
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations