The demise of the Police Officer Recruitment Fund

There are concerns in northern Ontario about the end of the Police Officer Recruitment Fund—a five-year commitment the Harper government made in 2006. NDP MP John Rafferty is unimpressed.

This past week we also learned of the elimination of the Police Officers Recruitment Fund which was a major federal program designed to help municipalities and provinces recruit police officers. In a backgrounder on the program, Public Safety Canada and Emergency Preparedness Canada offers the following rationale; “The purpose of the Fund is to support the efforts of provinces and territories in recruiting additional front-line police officers nationwide who can target local crimes and make communities safer.” Taking this information into account then, the cancellation of this important fund must therefore mean that the Harper Conservatives have made a conscious decision to eliminate their “support the efforts of front-line police officers nationwide in their work to target local crimes and make our communities safer.“ Seems like a strange decision for a Conservative Party that claims to be the most committed to upholding ‘law and order’ wouldn’t you say?

There were similar concerns raised in Sudbury earlier this year. Alberta Premier Alison Redford called for the fund to be extended when she ran for the Progressive Conservative leadership last year. During the last federal campaign, the NDP proposed doubling the fund and making it permanent.