Some financial help for three communities battling high policing costs.
Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake have come to an agreement with the province for extra funding.
Kenora Mayor Andrew Poirier says their lobbying effort with Solicitor General Michael Kerzner has paid off.
“Subsequent to some of our discussions at ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference), and that’s where this got its own sort of legs, he said he was going to come through with an adjustment, and he was going to do it in a certain timeline, and he met all that,” says Poirier.
Poirier adds for the city, it amounts to a savings of over half a million dollars or an extra 15 percent.
“We obviously we looking for more of an amount for financial relief, but that’s where we landed and it’s better than we had in December.”
In Sioux Lookout, the savings will amount to 40 percent of the police budget and Pickle Lake has been guaranteed the province will pick up 95 percent of their costs.
Sioux Lookout mayor Doug Lawrance says working in conjunction with Kenora and Pickle Lake has paid off.
“For many years, we have been trying to get the Solicitor General’s office to take the problem
of policing costs in our municipalities more seriously. By working together as a coalition rather than individual municipalities, we have finally been able to get some traction on the issue.”
In a release, the coalition says while they are the highest-cost jurisdictions in Ontario (according to 2022 data), there are over 30 municipalities across the north and other parts of the province that also have very high police costs compared to the provincial median of about $320 per property.