Senator calls for federal tuition fund to help slain police officers' families

A senator is taking a page out of the playbook in Sudbury, Ont., by proposing a tuition fund for the families of fallen police officers.

Program began 19 years ago in Sudbury, Ont., after Const. Joe MacDonald killed on duty

Senator Bob Runciman is asking federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to put side at least $2 million in the next budget for an honorary fund. (Dave Chan/Canadian Press)

A senator is taking a page out of the playbook in Sudbury, Ont., by proposing a tuition fund for the families of fallen police officers. 

I think it's a long overdue step at the federal level.- Senator Bob Runciman

Senator Bob Runciman is asking federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to put aside at least $2 million in the next budget for a fund that would help affected families across Canada. 

The idea was brought forward while Runciman was Ontario's solicitor general. In 1993, Const. Joe MacDonald was killed on the job while working in Sudbury. A few years later, the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety Officers Survivors Scholarship Fund was established to help families affected by the workplace deaths. 

"I think it's recognition of the sacrifices the families make as well, not just the officers who lost their lives," Runciman said. "I think it's a long overdue step at the federal level."

The senator said the investment would only be needed once and would go a long way to helping survivors attend post-secondary education without one of their parents there to help. 

That's how the fund helped MacDonald's daughters after the police officer was killed by two ex-convicts after a routine traffic stop. 

"I've emphasized this is not a significant cost item and in fact and in all likelihood would be a one time cost so that shouldn't be a concern," Runciman said.

The honorary fund has been in place in Ontario for 19 years.

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