(Secwepemc Territory/Kamloops, BC – January 11, 2018) Regional Chief Terry Teegee welcomed the announcement yesterday from the federal government that they are committing to an additional $189.2 million dollars in funding for the First Nations Policing Program. This announcement comes after a 2017 budget commitment of $102 million was criticized as insufficient to address the policing needs of nearly half a million people in 450 communities across Canada.
Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale is also encouraging the provinces to step up their contributions, and advised that for the first time ever funding commitments will be ongoing instead of tied to 5-year agreements requiring negotiation and renewal. In 2014, BC had under 110 officers to provide services to 130 First Nations communities in BC through 55 Community Tripartite Agreements for First Nations Community Policing Services. Currently, under a Tripartite Agreement, BC pays 48% of policing costs, while Canada is responsible for the other 52%.
As the portfolio holder for Justice with the Assembly of First Nations, BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “This announcement is an important recognition of the role First Nations police forces play in our communities. First Nations police forces must be fully supported and expanded; it is an essential service for all Canadians and First Nations peoples. Improving security and policing in First Nations communities will benefit everyone. We welcome this announcement and look forward to working together on the next steps.”
For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee
BC Assembly of First Nations