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Budget 2018: Investing to keep Canadians safe

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Through Budget 2018, the government is taking significant steps to ensure that the RCMP has the tools and resources needed to ensure a strong, safe, and secure Canada.

The investments outlined below reflect the need for the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion to underpin the operations and outcomes of all activities in the areas of safety and security.

Taking action to prevent and address gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination

Everyone plays a vital role in creating workplaces and communities that are free of discrimination and in helping to build a society where harassment and gender-based violence are no longer tolerated. Violence and harassment can have lifelong impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health and are unacceptable, regardless of whom they affect and which form they take.

The government is providing $86 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $20 million per year ongoing, to expand Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. Specifically, the RCMP is receiving $19 million over five years and $5.8 million per year ongoing to enhance support for the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre to increase investigative capacity of the RCMP.

Addressing “unfounded” cases of sexual assault and better supporting victims

Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have devastating and long-lasting effects on victims. The government is committed to ensure that survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, including throughout the course of police investigations. In 2017, the RCMP undertook a comprehensive review of all files where sexual assault complaints were coded as “unfounded”.

To continue and expand this work, Budget 2018 proposes to provide the RCMP with $10 million over five years, and $2 million per year ongoing, to establish a national unit that will coordinate the review of nearly 25,000 more case files since 2015, as well as provide accountability across the force for investigations, and oversee the development of a curriculum and training to address the problems raised by “unfounded”. An external advisory committee and better supports for victims will also form part of this initiative.

Improving cyber security

Canada’s plan for security and prosperity in the digital age starts with a strong federal cyber governance system to protect Canadians, their sensitive personal information and our critical infrastructure. To that effect, Budget 2018 proposes $507.7 million over five years, and $108.8 million per year ongoing, to fund Canada’s new National Cyber Security Strategy.

As part of that funding, $201.3 million over five years and $43 million per year ongoing are devoted to the creation of the RCMP National Cybercrime Coordination Unit and to increase the number of RCMP cybercrime investigative teams dedicated to conducting federal cybercrime investigations. The Unit will act as a coordination hub for cybercrime investigations in Canada and will work with international partners on cybercrime. It will also establish a national public reporting mechanism for Canadian citizens and businesses to report cybercrime incidents to law enforcement.

Supporting RCMP frontline operations

The RCMP is committed to preserving the peace, upholding the law, protecting Canadians, and promoting safety and security. The scope of policing operations within the RCMP is constantly evolving to address new and emerging threats, including in the areas of cybercrime, serious and organized crime, and national security investigations.

Budget 2018 proposes $80 million in 2018-19 to reinforce existing RCMP policing operations and support the recruitment and training of new RCMP cadets to help meet demands for new frontline federal officers in Canada.

Budget 2018 also proposes $60.2 million over five years, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, for the RCMP to renew radio systems in four divisions: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and the National Capital Region. Two-way radios are a lifeline for frontline police officers. They continue to be the most available, secure, and efficient communications tool for policing. Secure radios are also critical for maintaining officer safety, promoting interoperability with other first responders and, ultimately, protecting Canadians.

Taking action against guns and gangs

The government is establishing the Initiative to Take Action Against Guns and Gangs—a multi-pronged approach to tackle gun and gang activity in Canada. Budget 2018 proposes $327.6 million over five years, and $100 million per year ongoing, to Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and the Canada Border Services Agency. This Initiative, recently announced by the Minister of Public Safety, will bring together federal, provincial and territorial efforts to support community-level prevention and enforcement efforts, build and leverage unique federal expertise and resources to advance intelligence related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to interdict illicit goods including guns and drugs. Funding would also be provided to Indigenous organizations to help build capacity through education, outreach and research, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations.

Supporting mental health for RCMP police officers

Every day, public safety officers put their safety at risk to protect our communities. In recognition of the daily sacrifices made by public safety officers across Canada, Budget 2018 is proposing measures to support research and treatment on post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers as well as targeted supports for federal police officers.

Budget 2018 proposes $21.4 million over five years for the RCMP to support the mental health needs of its officers. The government is committed to supporting the mental health and resilience of RCMP officers so they can continue to serve Canadians.

Budget 2018 also proposes $20 million over five years to support a new national research consortium between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to address the incidence of post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers.

Understanding that access to mental health supports can be particularly hard to attain for public safety officers in rural and remote areas, an additional $10 million over five years is proposed in Budget 2018 for Public Safety Canada to work with the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to develop an Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy pilot as a means of providing greater access to care and treatment for public safety officers across Canada.

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