Cash for justice programs the main concern for ministers
Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety are raising concerns about funding cuts and a lack of long-term cash commitments, according to a summary of their recent meeting in Regina.
The ministers made specific reference to the Youth Justice Services Funding Program and the Aboriginal Justice Strategy as areas of concern.
They also asked for more money for criminal legal aid, police recruitment and First Nations policing.
The meeting wrapped up last Thursday but the summary was not issued until late Tuesday.
"Provincial and territorial ministers raised concerns about the federal funding reductions and lack of long-term commitment to maintain various cost-sharing programs," the summary said.
"We had a good discussion with the federal government," Saskatchewan Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said Wednesday. "I think they understand what some of our issues are."
Provincial ministers also asked the federal government to consider increased penalties for impaired driving, particularly crimes involving repeat offenders, serious injury or death, says the summary.
The ministers also:
- Directed senior officials to identify possible gaps in the Criminal Code on cyber-bullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
- Expressed support for proposed changes to the bail regime.
- Agreed to look at reforming preliminary inquiries, which Alberta, for one, sees as a waste of time and money in many cases.
- Discussed concerns about prosecutions involving workplace fatalities and injuries.
- Examined ongoing efforts to address the long-standing issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.