SAINT JOHN, NB, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - At the 21st annual general meeting of the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB) in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Friday, August 20th, CAPB members approved eight resolutions. These included a resolution recognizing that police agencies throughout Canada depend on reliable, comprehensive demographic statistical information provided by Statistics Canada to establish policing priorities and to determine policing services for their communities. Further, the resolution notes that the Government of Canada is constitutionally responsible for the periodic collection and dissemination of such statistical information. The long form census used by Statistics Canada is the basic tool for gathering the necessary statistical information while protecting the confidentiality of such information. The Canadian Association of Police Boards, however, supports the decriminalization of the mandatory long form census.
The resolution directed that CAPB request the Government of Canada to restore the mandatory long form census for the collection of census information by Statistics Canada while conveying to the Government, CAPB's support of the decision to remove the provision of imprisonment for anyone who fails to participate in the mandatory long form census.
A second important resolution recognizes the financial constraints facing the federal government as well as other orders of government. At the same time, however the CAPB believes that the federal government must make sure that budgetary decisions and legislative changes do not have an adverse impact on municipal police services, such as increasing costs to them. The CAPB believes it would make eminent sense if every order of government committed to a coherent and consistent strategy to control costs as there is only one taxpayer.
The resolution calls on the federal government to undertake the following actions to assist police boards and their funding municipalities:
- Maintain existing commitments to facilitate long-term planning and avoid a sudden impact on local police service budgets;
- Partner with the CAPB and other involved groups to identify and 'fast track' legislation that would assist local police boards to control costs and/or increase efficiency;
- Introduce a 'viability' or 'means' test for any new federal legislation or regulation to avoid any additional 'download' cost to local police boards, the 'viability' test to be based on the principle of 'if there are additional costs - who pays and how' and
- Avoid any federal actions or budget decisions that will have the impact of increasing local police service costs.
CAPB will circulate all the resolutions to the political parties represented in the House of Commons, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association seeking their support.
CAPB is the national association for police boards and commissions from across the country. Our members provide governance and oversight of more than 75% of municipal policing in Canada. In their role as civilian oversight bodies, police boards appoint and manage the performance of chiefs and deputy chiefs, set policing objectives, establish policies, and generally represent the public interest. The effective governance and oversight of policing in Canada is an important means to ensure that Canada's police services are fully accountable, transparent and have the confidence of the public they serve.
For further information: For further information:
Jennifer Lanzon, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Police Boards, by email [email protected] or phone 613-232-2275.