Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'm sure we would all want to reflect, on this particular day, upon the loss of Mr. Brown and the impact it has had on all members of the House of Commons, on all sides. I send my particular condolences to members of the Conservative Party, of which Mr. Brown was a very distinguished member.
As a side comment, I note that in recent days I've had the opportunity to talk on trade-related matters to a prominent American in the field of international trade, Mr. Robert Zoellick, who is a former U.S. trade representative and a distinguished American official in previous administrations. He observed that he had come to know Mr. Brown in Canada-U.S. relations and in fact had had the opportunity to visit with him in Gananoque, where Mr. Zoellick has some other connections. Mr. Brown left a very large footprint, and one that is much respected.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me back today.
Before I begin, I also want to take a moment to recognize all the people across this country who are affected by spring flooding in Canada, particularly in New Brunswick, but also in Kashechewan in northern Ontario and in various parts of British Columbia.
Members of the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Rangers, Transport Canada, the RCMP, and others have been engaged in providing assistance. I'm sure that all members of this committee in particular would want to join me in expressing our gratitude for the hard work of all these intervenors from the federal departments and agencies, working in close collaboration with provincial and local authorities and agencies. We wish them well in the important work they're involved in. We're certainly hoping that everyone stays safe.
I'm joined today by some key people from within the public safety portfolio. You are very familiar with Malcolm Brown, the Deputy Minister of Public Safety. Brenda Lucki, the new Commissioner of the RCMP, is back with us for the second time in one week. John Ossowski is the President of the Canada Border Services Agency.
Jennifer Oades is the new Chair of the Parole Board of Canada. The board is busy this week in Ottawa, involved in training sessions for members of the board as they go about their important work across the country. We also have Anne Kelly, Interim Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, and Charles Lowson, Acting Deputy Director of Operations at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
I am very proud of the essential role all of these leaders and their organizations play in protecting Canadians and our rights and freedoms.
Some of these people were with me recently at the G7 meetings of foreign and security ministers in Toronto. Canada was proud to host that particular gathering, and we look forward to hosting the upcoming leaders' summit next month in Charlevoix. I am pleased to say that G7 countries stand absolutely united in dealing with the various security threats we all face, from terrorism and human trafficking to cybercrime and beyond. Canada also took the opportunity to promote gender equality and women's rights at those meetings in Toronto. Gender equality and security absolutely go hand in hand. That's a top priority for our G7 presidency, and an overarching theme for all G7 discussions in the meetings we are hosting this year.
Mr. Chair, the skilled women and men of the public safety portfolio ensure that we are all well placed to respond to evolving threats. Our parliamentary responsibility is making sure they have the resources to do so. That, of course, brings me to the topic of this meeting, which is the main estimates for 2018-19.
Portfolio-wide, the total authority sought here will result in a net increase of $857.2 million. That is 9.8% more than in the main estimates last year. I'll touch briefly on just a few of the highlights.
First, speaking about the G7, these estimates include $233.5 million for G7 security across the public safety portfolio. Last time I was here to discuss the estimates, I mentioned that we would be glad to provide security briefings about the G7 to Mr. Paul-Hus and Mr. Dubé. I understand those briefings have happened.
Work is well under way in coordination with provincial and municipal authorities to ensure that everyone in Charlevoix and the surrounding areas is safe and secure. I am also aware that there will likely be people engaging in demonstrations during the G7. Our government will always defend the democratic rights of Canadians to demonstrate and protest, provided that it happens peacefully and within the bounds of the law.
Canadians also expect police officers to maintain public safety while respecting the law and professional codes of conduct. To that end, I would welcome the expected observers from Amnesty International and the Ligue des droits et libertés.
The main estimates also include an increase of $48.6 million for CBSA. That funding will go to immigration and security screening, border processing, and inland enforcement. This is part of our commitment to ensure that the border remains secure while open to the expeditious flow of legitimate trade and travel.
Border Services officers are professionals who do a difficult job, prioritizing security while treating people with humanity and compassion. I thank them and members of the RCMP for being so adept at handling what has recently been a very challenging border situation. It is, in large part, thanks to the RCMP and CBSA, as well as their colleagues in IRCC, that public safety is being maintained, that Canadian law is being applied, and that our international obligations are being upheld.
The estimates also include $41.1 million in increased funding for the first nations policing program. This is part of the investment we announced in January of almost $300 million over five years, which is the largest increase in funding for the first nations policing program since its inception almost 30 years ago.
I am pleased to report that of the 42 agreements with first nations that have been due for renewal, 29 are either signed or in the very final stages of completion, and officials are working very hard at the remainder.
There's also an increase of $18.9 million in funding for the correctional service, and another $1.3 million for Public Safety Canada, to manage vulnerable offenders appropriately and effectively within our corrections system. That refers particularly to people with mental illness, as well as indigenous offenders and women. We know that our correctional system needs to be world-class, at both security and rehabilitation, because that is the best way of reducing recidivism and keeping communities safe.
There is an increase of $20 million for the national disaster mitigation program, to increase resilience so natural disasters don't cause as much damage as they might otherwise.
There is $19.1 million to build capacity to address drug-impaired driving, which includes officer training. There is $23.4 million for the memorial grant program. This is a new program that will provide $300,000 to the families of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who have died as a direct result of their duties. This program is effective as of this past April 1.
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is, as you know, a very large portfolio. I am aware that your committee has had a full plate recently, too, studying the correction system as well as national security legislation, and you've now begun studying Bill C-71, related to firearms.
I cannot promise that the pace is going to slow down. In all likelihood, it will go in the opposite direction and get faster. I can promise, however, that our government will continue to prioritize public safety while at the same ensuring that Canadian rights and freedoms are well protected. It is the men and women at this table who represent the leadership of the public safety portfolio, and everyone they represent, who make such a huge contribution every day and work so hard to make sure that Canadians are safe and that their rights and freedoms are protected.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.