Feds renew First Nations police program
OTTAWA - The Harper government says it will continue to pay for the First Nations Policing Program for the next five years — although it's not saying how much it will cost.
The program supports police services in First Nations and Inuit communities across the country.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the program this year covers 163 policing arrangements representing 1,250 trained police officers in about 400 communities serving about 338,000 people.
He says the government intends to provide stable, multi-year financing for the program, although he gave no cost details.
The program came into force in 1991 and is funded by the federal government, province or territory and the community.
Agreements under the program were set to expire March 31, leaving some native leaders worried that their police forces would fall into limbo.
Some chiefs said they've been trying for years to speak with Toews on the issue, without getting a response.
The minister agreed to meet them last week.
On Thursday, he announced the five-year extension:
"Our government will continue to support First Nations and Inuit policing as part of its ongoing commitment to keeping our streets and communities safe."