Released on March 22, 2023
The 2023-24 Provincial Budget includes over $1.0 billion in investments in public safety and the justice system.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said the budget also protects women in dangerous situations by ensuring they can leave and stay away from abusive partners.
"This budget provides a three-year commitment of $876,000 to support second stage housing for women and their children fleeing domestic violence," Eyre said. "As we hire and empower prosecutors, improve access to justice, and invest further in second stage housing, this budget reflects our overall commitment to make Saskatchewan people and communities safe."
Other investments include:
- Over $27.5 million in interpersonal violence supports and services;
- Continued investment in the Major Case Assistance Unit to support the most serious and complex prosecutions ($1.4 million);
- Increased funding for the newly-established Serious Incident Response Team ($178,000);
- Reopening the Lloydminster Provincial Court and Weyburn Court of King's Bench ($691,000); and
- Expanding child support calculation assistance in family law litigation through the Administrative Support Calculation Service ($198,000).
Saskatchewan has also invested in a wide variety of police and law enforcement initiatives in recent years to address crime, including the Provincial Protective Services Branch, the Warrant Enforcement and Suppression Team (WEST), the Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team, and the Crime Reduction Teams (CRT).
"The Marshals Service and the expansions to WEST and CRT build on previous steps our government has taken to keep Saskatchewan people and communities safe," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "This year's budget will continue to advance programs and services in the areas of policing and corrections."
The 2023-24 budget sees new and continued investments in the following areas:
- Establishing the Saskatchewan Marshals Service to increase policing capacity within the province with a focus on rural and remote communities ($7.0 million);
- Expanding WEST and CRT to address gang crimes ($3.2 million);
- Creating the Warrant Intelligence Team (WIT) to share information with law enforcement to assist in the apprehension and removal of prolific violent offenders from provincial social funding ($200,000);
- Investing in training at the Saskatchewan Police College ($337,000);
- Ongoing development of the Provincial Protective Services Branch ($316,000);
- Hiring additional Police and Crisis Team (PACT) personnel within Saskatoon and Regina ($229,000);
- Increasing the Municipal Police Grant members' salaries ($310,000);
- Providing the Deputy Sheriff positions at the reopened Lloydminster and Weyburn Court Houses ($612,000);
- Maintaining the development of the Legislative District Security Unit ($220,000);
- Enhancing the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit ($147,000); and
- Increasing resources within the RCMP Operational Communication Center ($355,000).
The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $91.77 million in funding from the 2023-24 Provincial Budget for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) to continue protecting Saskatchewan people and creating safe, strong communities. The SPSA is a Treasury Board Crown that provides public safety services including fire safety training, investigation, emergency planning, response, recovery and emergency communications. The Agency operates Sask911, SaskAlert, PDAP and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.
"This funding is crucial to allow the SPSA to continue to protect Saskatchewan by investing in its fleet of air tankers, emergency communications and ability to assist communities in emergency prevention, mitigation, response and recovery," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said.
The budget also focuses on correctional services, including supporting and promoting rehabilitation for youth and adult offenders in Custody Services and Community Corrections. Investments in this area include:
- Ongoing construction of the remand expansion at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre ($75.4 million);
- Supporting the Īkwēskīcik iskwēwak program at Pine Grove Correctional Centre ($1.0 million);
- Enhancing video conferencing within the provincial correctional facilities ($150,000); and
- Hiring an instructor to train staff on the newly established Inmate Health Records System ($85,000).
The province continues to support initiatives that reduce the criminal use of firearms while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners and has dedicated approximately $8.9 million to the Saskatchewan Firearms Program including:
- Creating a Central Management and Services (CMS) unit to administer the Firearms Act in Saskatchewan, which includes jurisdiction over the licensing, storage, transportation and carrying of firearms ($2.2 million);
- Establishing a Firearms Compensation Committee to determine the fair market value of any firearms, ammunition and related accessories being expropriated by the federal government ($1.3 million);
- Constructing a Saskatchewan Firearms Ballistics Lab to support police services and provide timely access to Saskatchewan-based ballistics and firearms expertise ($927,000); and
- Enhancing training and education regarding safe storage and firearms licensing.
"Working alongside Saskatchewan firearms owners to promote proper licensing and firearms safety is a key component of the work we do," Chief Firearms Officer Robert Freberg said. "Enhancements to the provincial firearms program are essential as we work to improve public safety and stop illegal guns from entering our province."
For more information, contact:Ariane Whiting
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General/Corrections, Policing and Public Safety