Province announces $182M in funding for 9 new OPP detachments

An OPP cruiser is parked outside the Ontario Provincial Police headquarters in Orillia, ON. (David De La Harpe / Global News).
An OPP cruiser is parked outside the Ontario Provincial Police headquarters in Orillia, ON. (David De La Harpe / Global News). David de la Harpe / Global News File

The province has announced it will fund construction of nine new Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachments beginning this fall.

According to a news release issued Friday morning, the Ontario government will be spending more than $182 million to replace aging facilities’ infrastructure with nine new OPP detachments.

The new detachments will be located in Moosonee, Fort Frances, Hawkesbury, Huron County, West Parry Sound, Manitoulin Island, Port Credit (Mississauga), Marathon and Orillia.

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According to the release, the new detachments will replace facilities at the end of their “useful lifespan,” and will be equipped with amenities to address health and safety issues, will remedy inefficiencies due to obsolete design and technology and will address lack of space issues.

“State-of-the-art facilities that respond to the increasing demands of modern police operations are an important part of keeping communities safe,” Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services said in the release. “The safety of the public will always be a key priority of our government.”

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The province says the contract to design, build and finance the new detachments has been awarded to Bird Construction Inc.

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“Infrastructure modernization projects, including these OPP detachments, are critical to making life better for the residents of Ontario,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure said in the release. “Infrastructure investments stimulate our economy, create jobs and help to make Ontario competitive again.”

According to government officials, the project is part of an ongoing commitment to replace aging detachments under one major infrastructure project.

“This bundled approach to renewing our aging facilities will ensure the OPP continues to provide modern, efficient municipal and provincial policing services to local communities across the province,” commissioner of the OPP, Vince Hawkes said in the release.

According to the release, construction is expected to begin this fall, with “substantial completion” expected by late 2020.