Public safety minister hopes to table First Nations policing legislation in new year

OTTAWA-Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says he hopes to introduce legislation declaring First Nations policing an essential service in the new year.

In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Mendicino says the law is being developed with Indigenous communities, who deserve “the same quality of policing” as non-Indigenous communities.

Back in September Mendicino told reporters he would “work around the clock” to have the law ready to be introduced this fall, but that did not happen.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long promised to create legislation declaring First Nations policing an essential service.

Tragedies such as the stabbing rampage on James Smith Cree Nation in September, which left 11 dead and 18 others injured, have amplified the calls for change.

Ottawa provides funding for police services on First Nations, but a review earlier this year found there is a lack of resources and underfunding of service agreements.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2022.

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