Policing and Public Safety
The Government of Canada's efforts to bring needed attention to the rising costs of policing at its Summit on the Economics of Policing in January 2013 was the first in many steps needed to address the growing gaps in Canada's policing systems that are putting a strain on police and on municipal budgets.
- See FCM statement on the Summit on the Economics of Policing
About the Issue
Over the past 30 years, policing duties have been shifted onto municipalities from other orders of government. Municipalities pay more than 60% of Canada's policing costs, including $600 million worth of downloaded federal policing around border security, international drug trafficking and cyber crime.
Policing and public safety is the fastest-growing cost for municipalities - surpassing even health care - and now exceeds 20 per cent of spending. Without a new approach, these costs will push property taxpayers to the breaking point and crowd out other essential services.
Canada's policing system is badly in need of repair. In partnership with provinces, territories and municipalities, the federal government must reform the national policing system to establish a fairer distribution of responsibilities and resources. It must also:
- Commit to a plan that makes the most of every dollar governments invest fighting crime
- Support programs that attack the causes of crime and deter troubled youths from becoming career criminals
- Guarantee new RCMP contracts will not download additional costs on to municipal property taxpayers