Budget 2023: Keeping Albertans, communities safe

Press Release

Feb 28, 2023

The budget provides $709 million for public security in 2023-24, an increase of $84 million from the forecast. This will help expand policing options and the sheriff’s branch to help municipalities fight crime.

“By working with various levels of government and Indigenous organizations with a shared goal of increasing safety for Albertans, trust is built between the public and the police that serve their community. These investments will find local solutions to keep Albertans and their families safe, no matter where they choose to call home.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

Collaboration between the province, municipalities, police services and community organizations will make connecting Albertans to recovery-oriented mental health and addiction supports and services a central component of corrections and community policing. An investment of $94 million in 2023-24 will continue to address the addiction crisis by building more recovery communities, establishing health-care services and community policing hubs, and establishing harm reduction and recovery outreach teams with a specific focus on Edmonton and Calgary.

Another $12.5 million in 2023-24 will support the expansion of therapeutic living units within correctional facilities to help inmates access recovery-oriented treatment programs. This aims to reduce repeat offences and keep communities safe while recognizing mental health and addiction are health-care issues.

“Budget 2023 continues to build on the government’s efforts to keep our communities safe while treating mental health and addiction as health-care issues. We recognize that police services, firefighters, first responders and community service providers are critical partners in supporting Alberta’s most vulnerable citizens, and we will continue to work with them to build out a recovery-oriented system of care for mental health and addiction.”

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

After consulting with First Nations, Budget 2023 commits $65 million over three years to strengthen First Nations policing to improve community and officer safety and enhance service delivery for Lakeshore Regional Police Service, Blood Tribe Police Service and Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service, as well as to jointly fund a new First Nation police service for Siksika Nation. Up to 35 new policing positions will be added across the province.

“This investment will help ensure First Nations police services have the resources they need to strengthen community safety and security in culturally responsive ways. Expanding First Nations policing is one example of how Alberta supports Indigenous-led initiatives as part of our journey towards reconciliation.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“All Albertans have the right to safety and security in their homes, at school or at work, whether they live in large cities or in smaller, rural or Indigenous communities. Budget 2023 helps us build safe communities supported by strong police services, social services and emergency responders all working together with the needs and safety of Albertans and families in mind.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Other Budget 2023 highlights

  • Operating expense for Public Safety and Emergency Services will be $1.2 billion annually, or an increase of about $136 million from the third-quarter forecast for 2022-23.
  • $20 million over three years will better protect and assist survivors and victims of human trafficking, increasing their access to the specialized services they need to start their healing journey and reduce the risk of re-exploitation. An Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons and a Centre of Excellence for research and data collection will also be created.
  • $3 million over three years to expand the Rural Sexual Assault Support project, so that sexual assault survivors can receive essential health-care services in both rural and urban communities from health-care providers specifically trained to administer sexual assault evidence kit exams.

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s bright future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

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