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Rickford hopes for Indigenous policing funding deal

By Randy Thoms Jun 24, 2023 | 9:20 PM

Some pressure at a provincial level on the federal government to complete a funding agreement with Indigenous police services.

Ontario provides 48 per cent of the funding.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford says he has had regular contact with the Solicitor General’s office and the police services at the heart of the deal.

“They’re satisfied with where the province has been, especially in recent months, but obviously a huge level of dissatisfaction, now urgency with the federal government. We’re working together to impress upon the federal government the urgency of this situation,” says Rickford.

The Treaty 3 Police Service has suggested it has enough funding to get through this month.

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino indicated two weeks ago that he would work to provide three months of funding while a new longer-term agreement is worked upon.

The House of Commons was told this week the Indigenous police services were still waiting on that money.

“The Indigenous Police Chiefs of Ontario came to Ottawa to demand that the government reinstate its core funding to help keep its communities safe.

The minister promised to provide three months of funding as quickly as possible. People are dying as they wait for him to fulfill that promise.

The minister needs to stop playing games with the safety of 45 first nations,” said Lori Idlout, the NDP’s Indigenous Services and Northern Affairs.
Rickford notes this is the second time the police services have been on edge about funding.

“I’ve spoken to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General about ensuring for Ontario’s part that the stabilized funding and the process to renewal starts sooner and hopefully lasts longer so that they’re not put in this situation in the future,” says Rickford.

Treaty Three, United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Anishnaabe and Anishinabek police were represented in Federal Court earlier this month to seek emergency funding relief.

The Court has yet to rule on the matter.


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