Funding gap: Quebec municipal police call for $788 million

file - Quebec City, Que., June 6, 2018. Lars Hagberg /AFP/Getty Images

Quebec’s federation of municipal police forces is asking the provincial government for $788 million to address what they describe as a funding gap between their forces and Quebec provincial police.

President Francois Lemay said today that Quebec is operating with a two-tier system that forces most cities with their own police forces to assume the entire bill for their services, while cities served by provincial police get 47 per cent of the costs reimbursed.

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He told reporters in Laval, Que. that this happens even though cities with their own police still end up paying for provincial police coverage of surrounding territories through tax dollars.

This funding gap, he said, is one of the reasons the number of city police forces has shrunk from 120 to 33 in recent decades.

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Lemay said the Quebec government is planning to increase the reimbursement for provincial police to 50 per cent by 2020, which would increase the amount reimbursed from $300 million to $375 million, while municipal forces will get nothing.

The federation represents 33 police forces serving 5.5 million residents, and includes three Indigenous police forces operating in the province’s north.

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