SURREY, BC, April 21, 2021 /CNW/ – Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the Government of British Columbia’s Budget for 2021-2022:
“Yesterday afternoon, BC Finance Minister Selina Robinson tabled the Province of British Columbia’s Budget for 2021-22, and, like many other provinces and the federal government, this budget has primarily guided by the continuing fiscal challenges and economic recovery related to the COVID-19 global health pandemic.
This year, the effects of the global pandemic have left British Columbians with a provincial deficit of $8.1 billion in 2020-2021 and increasing to $9.7 billion for 2021-2022 and a plan of fiscal restraint, cuts, and increased borrowing.
The NPF was pleased to see that, despite no big-ticket spending announcements, just over $200 million has been set aside for new public safety and justice program investments.
More specifically, we support a $73 million investment towards policing and security initiatives, including towards the Gang Suppression Action Plan. We also support funding to hire additional RCMP officers to help our Members who are currently shouldering an ever-increasing workload and dealing with growing stress and exhaustion.
Over the past year, the need for proper mental health supports has become even more apparent for many British Columbians, and that’s why we welcome nearly $500 million in overall mental health and addiction investments announced in this budget. Notably, opioid response and addictions supports, including the creation of the Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise Line, which will link first responders with overdose health emergency physicians when treating patients with substance use disorders. Finally, we welcome $330 million set aside to meaningfully address substance-use treatment and recovery services, including $152 million specifically for opioid treatment.
Despite these strategic investments, it’s important to remember the Province’s continuing fiscal challenges; be they ongoing health-related uncertainties related to the pandemic, growing demand for government services, and various delays and changes in timing to capital projects. In other words, the Province still needs to keep its fiscal house in order.
No federal, provincial or municipal budget delivered this year has been spared the grim realities of the difficulty to plan accurately and effectively longer term, but the measures announced today are definitely steps in the right direction for British Columbia.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
SOURCE National Police Federation