OTTAWA – The Chiefs of Ontario join the Chiefs of Quebec and Labrador in calling upon Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to honour the federal government’s commitment to provide equitable funding for First Nation policing. This is not only an essential service, it is a human right to provide safe and secure communities for our peoples.
“To date, the federal government has been absent in their obligation to participate in the 52-48 funding share agreement with the province of Ontario,” said Regional Chief Isadore Day. “This has forced the province to take sole responsibility for funding the wages of First Nation police forces. To reiterate our earlier call, this federal government needs to step up and match the province in its determination that First Nation policing services are essential services and deserve equitable treatment to their non-First Nation counterparts.”
“Despite the lack of federal funding, the province of Ontario launched the Strategy for a Safer Ontario (SSO) and undertook consultations with First Nations leadership across the province in order to mitigate the obvious gaps between First Nations and non-First Nations communities in Ontario. The Safer Ontario Act has now passed second reading,” noted Regional Chief Day. “In Quebec, the situation is critical. First Nation police forces are facing a total collapse due to a lack of provincial and federal funding. Both Quebec and Canada, as well as other regions, should emulate the true partnership Ontario has shown on this critical file.
“Today – December 6th, is significant as it is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women,” noted Regional Chief Day. “The numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have no doubt been exacerbated by the lack of policing services to respond to situations and investigations.”
“It is not acceptable for Minister Goodale to listen to the needs of our communities and do nothing. It is not acceptable to promise the Political Confederacy that Canada would get back to the table to discuss these issues with Ontario and our regions, and continue to do nothing,” said Regional Chief Day. “In this new era of a nation-to-nation relationship, the safety and well-being of our communities is a number one priority that must be addressed now. Canada doing nothing is not acceptable, not in Ontario, or anywhere else in this country.”