HARPER MUST MAKE FRONT-LINE POLICE A PRIORITY: TURMEL

Conservative Prisons Agenda will leave municipal police resources strapped

OTTAWA – New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel slammed the Harper government today for its failure to keeps its promise to communities and put more police on the streets.

In a speech to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Turmel said the federal government must take a leadership role in local policing.  She highlighted how over the last six years, the Harper Conservatives have dropped the ball.

“The Conservatives have been so focused on pushing through their expensive prisons agenda that they have failed to live up to their promise to put 2,500 more police officers on the streets,” said Turmel.  “Municipalities and communities across Canada are asking for federal help to keep their communities safe. Instead of strapping provinces with massive prisons costs, the Conservatives need to step up and help hire more police.”

The Harper government failed to live up to its 2006 promise to put more police officers on the streets in cities and communities, and refused to commit to long-term funding for the new hires.

 “Our solution is clear: make permanent and double the Police Officer Recruitment Fund,” said Turmel.  “With policing costs rising, we can’t expect municipalities to shoulder the burden alone. They shouldn’t have to. It’s time for the Ottawa Conservatives to start showing some leadership.”

Turmel also took on the Conservatives’ failure on infrastructure, saying that with the Building Canada Plan set to expire in 2014, the government will need to commit to stable funding cities can rely on.

“Yesterday, the Conservative Minister announced that discussions for an infrastructure agreement will begin.They didn’t announce any funding yet, and we’re going to make sure they follow through and live up to the expectations and needs of our cities and communities”, said Turmel.

“On any given day, Canadians are dealing with boil water advisories, crumbling bridges, traffic gridlock and unreliable public transit. Canadians communities need more than Conservative talk – they need action.”

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For more information, please contact:
Karl Bélanger, senior press secretary, 613-720-6463 or Karl.Belanger@parl.gc.ca