The Government of Canada stands with the people who risk their lives to keep us safe and with their families when tragedy strikes.
Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced that the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders will be expanded to recognize the service and sacrifice of correctional, parole and probation officers who have lost their lives as a result of their duties.
Their families will be able to apply to the Memorial Grant Program in early 2021. Eligibility will be retroactive to April 1, 2018, the start date of this program.
The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders provides a one-time lump sum, tax-free direct maximum payment of $300,000 to the families of first responders who die as a result of their duties.
Correctional, parole and probation officers play an important role in upholding public safety. Canadians rely on them to impose custodial sentences safely and humanely, and to prepare people for safe reintegration into their communities following their time in custody. This recognition of service and sacrifice for families who lost a loved one is an important initiative that highlights how our country supports the people who risk their lives to protect us.
The Government of Canada continues to work to improve that support in collaboration with the public safety community to assess the need to expand this program to other public safety personnel. In the coming months, the Government of Canada will move forward with a targeted consultation to consider the scope of this program.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that repeated exposure to challenging work conditions can be a danger not only to physical health but to mental health and personal resilience. The selflessness and sacrifice of these professionals commands the respect of all Canadians, and their families deserve to be treated with the greatest compassion and support.”
– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders is one part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to prioritizing support for public safety personnel. On April 8, 2019, The Government of Canada released the Supporting Canada’s Public Safety Personnel: An Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries. A plan to support research, prevention, early intervention, stigma-reduction, care and treatment for all types of public safety personnel, all across the country.
If you are struggling with mental health, or know someone who is, there are many available resources that can help recognize signs and offer a safe place to talk with trained professionals. These resources are available 24-hours a day and can be accessed online and through the phone.