Federal Crime Bill Creates Heavy Burden For Ontario
Federal Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, could cost Ontario's taxpayers more than $1 billion in increased provincial correctional and police service costs.
Increase in inmate population and costs Provincial correctional facilities, which house approximately 8,500 inmates, are currently at approximately 95 per cent of their capacity. Bill C-10 could add up to 1,500 inmates to the system by 2016. This would mean provincial correctional facilities would be operating at an average of 104 per cent and up to 150 per cent in some institutions. This additional pressure would lead to overcrowding in many institutions and undermine the province's efforts to modernize the correctional system. As a result of C-10, the province is now facing the very real possibility of having to build a new 1,000 bed facility to offset the resulting impact. The estimated capital cost of a new facility is $900M with ongoing operating costs of $60M annually. These costs are nowhere accounted for at this time. Heavier caseload for probation and parole services On any given day, the province supervises more than 50,000 individuals in the community, including those on probation, parole or serving conditional sentences. The province estimates that Bill C-10 would increase the number of individuals being supervised in the community by up to 1,000, increasing the caseload burden for probation and parole offices. Impact on Ontario Provincial Police Bill C-10 would also have an impact on the delivery of provincial police services. The legislation would:
- create the need for additional investigations;
- increase the time needed to investigate many cases; and
- result in officers spending more time in court rather than patrolling Ontario's communities.