August 2016
Backgrounder

Under the Police Services Act, Ontario municipal governments are fully responsible to provide police services in Ontario communities.  In some communities, where municipalities cannot provide police services, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will provide police services and bill the costs to municipalities.

Ontarians pay the highest policing costs in the country.  This includes both provincial and municipal expenditures.  In 2014-2015, Ontarians spent $347 per capita on policing.  We estimate it is at least $20 more than Albertans, $38 more than Quebecers, and $58 more than British Columbians.
 
Chart showing 2014/2015 per capita policing costs: All provinces, British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario , Quebec and the Maritimes
In April 2015, AMO provided the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, with its Policing Modernization Report.  The Report contains 34 recommendations, providing ideas and a vision for the future of how this critical public service can be delivered.

This process was driven by the undeniable need to ensure that all Ontario communities can afford policing, along with all the other public programs and services that keep people not only safe, but healthy.

AMO’s recommendations fall into four key themes: partnership, productivity, performance and personnel.  For the most part, recommended strategies fall into two broad categories: managing public demand for services and increasing operational effectiveness.

In August 2015, the Minister announced that the Police Services Act would be updated.  Throughout the spring of 2016 the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services held a series of consultations across the province with the intention of introducing new legislation in the fall of 2016.  AMO is hopeful this timing remains on track with the recent appointment of Minister David Orazietti.