Federal Budget Measures on Security and Justice

Yesterday’s federal budget contained a series of security and justice measures:

  • $400 million to encourage provinces and territories to recruit 2,500 new front-line police officers – this amount is non-recurrent. In other words, once the funds have been spent, provinces will have to find the cash to pay for new officers hired with the federal funds
  • $122 million over two years to help overhaul the federal corrections system. A report in December 2007 called for a modernization of the service, cracking down on narcotics in prisons as well as improving rehabilitation services
  • $32 million over two years for the new Public Prosecution Service of Canada that handles prosecutions under some 50 federal statutes
  • $60 million over two years to the National Crime Prevention Strategy which has a focus on youth gang- and drug-related crime
  • $43 million over the next two years to the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s electronic espionage service, for investments in information and communications technologies.
  • $75 million over two years for the Canada Border Services Agency to add officers at key locations
  • Introducing a higher-security electronic passport by 2011 and doubling the validity period of Canadian passports to 10 years when this electronic passport is launched
  • $14 million over two years to expand the joint Canada-United States NEXUS program for low-risk frequent travellers across the border
  • $26 million over two years to introduce the use of biometric data into visas issued to foreign nationals entering Canada
  • $15 million over two years to establish a permanent facility to enhance the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region

Further coverage:

  • Passports get major overhaul (Toronto Star) : “Forty-two countries are already using electronic passports, including all of the other leading industrialized countries in the G-8. Officials said Canada is playing a game of catch-up in coming around to the ‘new international standard’.”
  • Large chunk of security measures aimed at foreigners (Globe and Mail): “The new, more secure passports will last twice as long – the government plans to double the validity period for the travel documents to 10 years. Another $6-million will go to provinces and territories working on enhanced drivers’ licences. A large chunk of the remaining security-related items appear to be aimed directly at foreigners, such as a proposal that would increase Canada’s capacity to collect intelligence abroad and demand biometric data such as fingerprints from many overseas visitors.”
  • La loi, l’ordre et la sécurité restent des priorités conservatrices (Le Devoir – “Law, order and security remain Conservative priorities”): “Le taux de criminalité a beau diminuer au pays depuis des années, la loi et l’ordre continuent d’être des priorités pour les conservateurs. Le budget dévoilé hier consacre 630 millions de dollars sur deux ans à ce chapitre. Le gouvernement accorde aussi 145 millions sur deux ans pour renforcer la sécurité aux frontières. [Though the crime rate in Canada has been decreasing for years, law and order continue to be a priority for the Conservatives. Yesterday’s budget will devote $630 million over two years to that sector. The government will also spend $145 million over two years to strengthen border security]”

Cross-posted to Library Boy.


  1. Michel-Adrien: Thank you for this fantastic summary. It will help me in my attempt to absorb the news. It is good to see they will finally (hopefully) be dealing with the passports issue. Hard to believe it will take 3 years to implement.