First Nations police forces to get more officers under federal funding plan

WINNIPEG — The federal government has announced a cash infusion of $291.2 million over five years for policing in First Nation and Inuit communities.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the announcement Wednesday in Winnipeg, saying the money will start flowing to communities served under the First Nations Policing Program in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The announcement includes money for up to 110 additional officer positions, starting in 2019-2020.

Provincial and territorial governments fund 48 per cent of the policing program and they will be asked to increase their spending to maintain their share of the costs.

The next due date for renewing agreements with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities is April 1 of this year.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, there were 185 police service agreements covering more than 430,000 people in 450 First Nation and Inuit communities across Canada.

“The First Nations Policing Program is a critical service that protects the safety of Indigenous Peoples through culturally relevant policing,” Goodale said. “This new funding will be ongoing so communities can count on it for the long-term.”

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