CACP Statement: Discussing public safety and policing with Canada's provincial and territorial Premiers

    04/21/23 - 04/21/27

    (Click here to download a copy of this CACP statement.)

    April 21, 2023


    The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) thanks the Council of the Federation for the opportunity to discuss the safety of front-line police officers, the management of repeat violent offenders by Canada’s justice system, and the escalation of gun, gang, and other violent crime in our country, often intensified by mental health and addiction issues.

    We commend Canada’s provincial and territorial Premiers for making the safety and wellbeing of Canadians a priority. During today’s meeting, the CACP called for a strong statement of support and acknowledgement of policing as an essential part of Canada’s public safety and social services system. With both policing and health falling under provincial jurisdiction, Premiers play a critical role in implementing a more integrated and balanced social infrastructure to appropriately address the demands for service that require the combined efforts and expertise of police, health, and community services in communities across the country.

    The CACP is encouraged by some of the progress being made via recent funding announcements, commitments, and innovative solutions taking place in certain areas of the country, but a more concerted and consistent approach is required in all regions of Canada.

    We thank Canada’s provincial and territorial Premiers for their continued support and outreach to the federal government encouraging them to quickly enact legislation to address elements of the Criminal Code and Canada’s bail system to specifically address the issue of repeat violent offenders and those charged with offences involving firearms. The CACP also recommends a review of the statutory criteria governing the authorities that determine the mental competency of accused persons to stand trial (e.g., Quebec’s Review Board of Mental Disorders) as too many individuals with mental disorders who pose a significant threat to public safety are not being held accountable for their actions and are being released back into the community without the appropriate care or restrictions required.

    We believe these collective efforts will contribute to improved public and officer safety as well as support the recruitment and retention of officers and other public service agency professionals in an already challenging environment.

    Today’s meeting with the Council of the Federation represents the first step in an ongoing commitment to work collaboratively to explore and advance potential solutions to improve public safety and policing in Canada.