MPP asks province to provide $1M in funding for Thunder Bay police

MPP asks province to provide $1M in funding for Thunder Bay police
THUNDER BAY, Ont. — An Ontario legislator and Thunder Bay police are asking the province for additional funding to implement recommendations in a report that found systemic racism within the police service.

Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell sent an open letter to Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones on Friday, asking the province to provide more than $1 million for the police force to create a major case unit and improve training for its officers.

The shoreline of the McIntyre River in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 2016. A report last month made 44 recommendations regarding issues between the police force and the city’s Indigenous community.  (IAN WILLMS / The New York Times)

The request comes after the Office of the Independent Police Review Director released a report last month making 44 recommendations regarding issues between the police force and the city’s Indigenous community.

Jones’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment, and a spokesman for Thunder Bay police says the police force has not heard back from the provincial government.

Earlier this week, police chief Sylvie Hauth presented a report to the city’s police board that outlined a budget for the year that addresses the report’s recommendations, including costs for a major case unit and anti-racism training.

Scathing reports call out Thunder Bay police for racism. Is there hope for change? The Indigenous community is not so sure

Monteith-Farrell made reference to Hauth’s request in her letter to Jones, saying the province should provide the force with “the tools and resources it needs to work towards the implementation of the recommendations of the OIPRD report.

“The crisis of trust between Indigenous people and the Thunder Bay Police Service requires immediate action. Our province needs to take seriously the need for reconciliation without delay,” Monteith-Farrell wrote.
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