Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Federal Budget 2008 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]"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:27 pm


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