THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy welcomes the recommendations on the First Nations Policing Program by the Auditor General of Canada released yesterday. “We have been stating for years that police services in our communities are overlooked and underfunded,” Regional Chief Beardy said. “The Auditor General’s findings support the recommendations that were released in 2007 in the final report of the Ipperwash Inquiry. This is not news. First Nations will continue to pressure government to implement the recommendations that were made almost 10 years ago.”The Regional Chief for Ontario says, issues such as safe facilities, underfunding and inferior police services have been raised for years by the First Nations.
Auditor General on First Nations Policing
The Auditor General of Canada Michael Ferguson made eight findings where Public Safety Canada’s First Nations Policing Program (FNPP) does not meet acceptable standards in the area of program design, program delivery, and measurements and reporting. The Auditor General of Canada states clearly in his Report that the First Nations Policing Program “is not working as intended, and many issues persist.”
In his video statement, the Auditor General identifies that in Ontario specifically, the FNPP does not ensure that policing services on First Nation reserves meet the standards that apply to policing services elsewhere in the province.
“There are many things wrong with this program. Canada’s lack of regard for First Nation police services were recently displayed in their dealings with the 20 First Nation communities who are funded through the Ontario First Nation Policing Agreement,” Regional Chief Beardy said. “For one thing, First Nations are not meaningfully included in negotiations of agreements and the FNPP is not accessible or transparent to First Nations.”
It was in the Final Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry that Justice Sydney Linden put forth 100 recommendations that aimed to reconcile relations between Ontario First Nations, Canada, and Ontario, many of which relate to policing and First Nations. Canada and Ontario have yet to implement the police-related recommendations set forth in the Final Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry.