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Government of Saskatchewan Announces Major Investments in Public Safety

Released on June 10, 2024

Includes $4.7 Million for Courtroom Safety and $45 Million for First Nations Inuit Policing Program

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to invest in major public safety initiatives across the province through the ministries of Justice and Attorney General and Corrections, Policing and Public Safety. 

Today, Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre and Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman made a number of announcements alongside the Prince Albert Police Service. With local MLA Alana Ross, meetings were also held with Prosecutors, Legal Aid, Prince Albert City Council and the PA Community Housing Society Inc.

"This year, we are investing $250 million in justice initiatives that build on key policies, legislation and our important partnerships with community-based organizations," Eyre said. "This includes new funding for courtroom safety and video conferencing, as well as urban bear spray regulations and Major Case Assistance and Readiness units in Public Prosecutions."

Ministry of Justice initiatives include:

• $4.7 million in courtroom safety measures, which include new, standardized distress button and monitoring systems across Saskatchewan courthouses.
• $2.85 million to install nine new video conferencing units in correctional centres across Saskatchewan, which will enable accused to appear in court remotely and connect with lawyers virtually before court appearances.
• $1.4 million to support Public Prosecutions' Major Case Assistance Unit to focus on the most serious and complex prosecution cases.
• Nearly $500,000 to support Public Prosecutions’ Case Readiness Unit, to move major cases through the justice system more efficiently and quickly.
• New provincial regulations to restrict the possession of capsaicin-containing wildlife control products (or bear spray) in public urban spaces. The regulations also prohibit defacing or altering bear spray cans in order to hide or disguise their identity and enable police to seize the product and fine.
• $990,000 for the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), an increase of 20 per cent from the previous year, to hire a team commander and expand the team’s operational capacity.

Ministry of Corrections and Policing initiatives include:

"The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety is committed to building and protecting safer communities by investing in the Saskatchewan Marshals Service, First Nations policing services and other initiatives," Merriman said. "Collaboration between our ministries and stakeholders, such as the Prince Albert Police Service, is crucial to meeting our goals and we look forward to further collaboration in the future."

A total of $7 million has been allocated this year to establish the Saskatchewan Marshals Service (SMS). The SMS will provide an enhanced law enforcement presence, supporting and assisting the RCMP, First Nations and municipal police services across the province. The Service will address gangs, rural crime, illegal weapons and drugs, and work to apprehend high-risk individuals and offenders with outstanding warrants for their arrest.

Prince Albert has been chosen as the site for the new SMS district headquarters. Renovations are currently underway and are expected to be completed on the SMS headquarters this fall, while the Service is expected to be operational by late 2026. 

"As the Chief of the Prince Albert Police Service, I am honored to host this media event with the ministries of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, and Justice and Attorney General," Chief Patrick Nogier said. "This venue is ideal for discussing initiatives that enhance public safety and justice in our communities. By working together, we can identify efficiencies that contribute to a safer and more effective system for all.” 

A total of $45 million has been invested by the provincial ($21.6 million) and federal ($23.4 million) governments to support the First Nations Inuit Policing Program this year. This funding will support the First Nations Community Safety Officer pilot project, the self-administered File Hills First Nation Police Service, and community tripartite agreements that deliver dedicated RCMP policing services to 45 First Nations in the province.

The First Nations Community Safety Officer pilot enables First Nations to focus on high-priority, low- risk-to harm activities in their communities. This helps the police of jurisdiction remain focused on more complex community safety and serious criminal enforcement activities. After two years, a positive impact on public safety has been shown in communities involved in the project. As a result, the pilot has been extended by two years to allow for further review.

An investment of $2.2 million to support the delivery of the Electronic Monitoring Global Positioning System (EM GPS). Through a network of satellites, EM GPS allows Community Corrections staff to closely monitor clients' locations and electronically prohibit them from visiting locations specified in their court orders.


For more information, contact:

Kerri Ward-Davis
Justice and Attorney General
Phone: 306-787-8621

Dustin Gill
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety
Phone: 306-787-4260

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