Minister Goodale marks first anniversary of Memorial Grant Program for First Responders

From: Public Safety Canada

April 1, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario

Public Safety Canada

The Government of Canada stands with the women and men who risk their lives to keep us safe and with their families when tragedy strikes.

At his opening remarks at the Canadian Police Association’s 2019 Legislative Conference, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, highlighted the new Memorial Grant Program for First Responders, a federal grant program that recognizes the service and sacrifice of first responders who die as a direct result of carrying out their duties.

Since the launch on April 1, 2018, tax-free Memorial Grants have been given to the families of nineteen first responders who died as a result of their duties. A further 53 applications are in process.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton was awarded the contract to administer the grant. Trained specialists are available to guide applicants through the process, and applications can be submitted either online or in person at service locations across Canada.

The Memorial Grant Program is one part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to prioritizing support for public safety officers and personnel. Public Safety Canada continues to work with partners to finalize an Action Plan on Post Traumatic Stress Injuries for Public Safety Personnel. Informed by a series of consultations with partners, the Action Plan will support prevention, early intervention, stigma reduction, care and treatment for all types of public safety personnel, all across the country.

“First responders put their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe Their selflessness and sacrifice commands the respect of all Canadians, and their families deserve to be treated with the greatest compassion and support when tragedy strikes. The Memorial Grant Program recognizes the service of first responders in their unwavering commitment to keep Canadians and their communities safe.”

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“We recognize that it is impossible to fully replace a husband or wife, mother or father, whenever we lose a first responder under the most tragic circumstances, but this program provides tangible support to families at a time when they need it most. Front-line police personnel appreciate the leadership taken by the Government of Canada in establishing this grant, and while we ultimately hope it is used as infrequently as possible, the support for the families of those who lose their lives in service to their communities is a tremendous initiative.”

– Tom Stamatakis, President, Canadian Police Association

Quick facts

  • Through the Memorial Grant Program, families of first responders – police, firefighters and paramedics, including volunteers, reservists and auxiliary members – that lose a loved one as a direct result of their duties, will receive a one-time lump sum, tax-free payment of $300,000.

  • The Government of Canada, provinces and territories awarded the first Emergency Management Exemplary Service Awards last year to recognize those who work hard to keep us safe. The next call for nominations is open until May 11th.

  • In 2017 Firefighters’ National Memorial Day was formally established on the second Sunday of each year in memory of firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. The Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day on the last Sunday in September commemorates police and peace officers who were killed in the line of duty.

  • The Government of Canada restored the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Funding Program, which supports interdisciplinary teams that respond to some of the most difficult emergencies.

  • Budget 2018 invested $20 million over five years to support a new National Research Consortium by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to address PTSI among public safety personnel.

  • Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada is investing $10 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, for an Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to provide greater access to care and treatment for public safety personnel, especially in rural and remote areas.

  • The government invested $10 million toward a longitudinal study of the mental health of RCMP new recruits that will help us develop appropriate mental wellness and remedial strategies for the Force and other emergency response organizations.

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