Karen Robertson is here, deputy directory of administration and the chief financial officer of CSIS.
Anne Kelly is with us once again, representing the Correctional Service of Canada, previously as assistant commissioner, now as newly installed acting commissioner. She is replacing Don Head who retired a few weeks ago. Anne is assuming the top responsibilities in the CSC while the search process goes forward for the new commissioner.
Finally, we have Jennifer Oades, who has just been appointed as the new chairperson of the the Parole Board of Canada, replacing Harvey Cenaiko.
You have a team who has partly been here before and partly brand new. We're glad to have the opportunity to present today.
As usual, our priority is keeping Canadians safe while simultaneously safeguarding rights and freedoms. That's why I was pleased with a number of elements in the budget last Tuesday, because it includes significant investments that will advance both of these objectives.
Some of those initiatives over the next five years include $507 million for Canada's first comprehensive cybersecurity plan; over $50 million in research and treatment for post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers; $33 million to help border officers stem the flow of opioids into Canada; $14.5 million to set up a hotline for victims of human trafficking to access the help that they need; $20.4 million in mental health supports for women in correctional facilities, over one third of whom are indigenous; $173 million to ensure we can continue to securely and effectively process asylum seekers in accordance with Canadian law and all of our international obligations; and $4.3 million to reopen penitentiary farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay correctional institutions. This was a valuable program that was unfortunately shut down between 2009 and 2011. There has been very substantial community support for reinstating the farms near Kingston, and I look forward to showing what they can achieve for rehabilitation of offenders and therefore better public safety.
I look forward to returning to this committee in the future with funding details related to to all of these issues. For now, let me turn to the estimates before us and use the remaining time to discuss some of the highlights.
To start with, we are upholding our commitment from last year's budget to establish a grant program, beginning in 2018-19, to support the families of first responders who fall in the line of duty. The memorial grant program for first responders will provide a lump sum, tax-free, direct payment of up to $300,000 to the families of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who die as a result of their duties. The effective date for that program is April 1. That includes volunteers, auxiliary members, and reservists. In the coming year, we'll be seeking $21.9 million for this important new grant program. Supporting the families of public safety officers is the least that we can do when their loved ones lose their lives protecting all of the rest of us.
We also have to ensure that the brave women and men who keep our communities safe have the resources they need to do their tough jobs. To that end, we are seeking $70 million through the supplementary estimates (C) in program integrity funding for the RCMP. I would note that this week's budget includes an additional $80 million for the RCMP in the coming year. We are providing this funding as we undertake an integrity review of the force to ensure that the RCMP have the resources they need and where Canadians need them.
On a similar note, the CSC, the Correctional Service of Canada, is requesting a funding increase to maintain operations that were affected by budget cuts in 2014. As you may recall, that budget imposed an operating freeze for fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16 on all departments. During that period, departments were not funded for increases in salary expenditures resulting from collective agreements and the ongoing impact of those adjustments. Financial implications from the collective agreements process amount to $105.7 million for fiscal year 2017-18. That is what the Correctional Service of Canada is now seeking to cover that shortfall.
Supplementary estimates (C) also include a request for $144 million related to security for Canada's presidency of the G7, including hosting the leaders summit in Charlevoix this spring. Security operations include advance planning and preparations well in advance, including site visits, scenario developments, and risk assessments. I know the RCMP is working with the community to ensure that residents are properly informed and to ensure that the security of participants and the public is properly protected.
Mr. Paul-Hus, I know you have a request outstanding for the appropriate briefing for you with respect to these security arrangements, and we will make sure that information is provided to you.
Also, while it is not technically funded within my portfolio, I want to note that the new multi-party national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians is now up and running. These estimates include $2 million for the Privy Council Office to support the establishment of the committee's secretariat. I have heard anecdotally from a variety of members on that committee that they are pleased with the way it has started its work, and I certainly look forward to the good work that NSICOP will do.
There is much more that I would like to discuss this morning, but to close my remarks let me just focus in on two particular points with respect to Bill C-59, the national security legislation that is moving closer to clause-by-clause consideration.
One of those points is this. There is, I believe, a drafting error that has come to our attention, and it has to do with CSIS querying the datasets in exigent circumstances when they are properly authorized to do so by the director. The threshold in the legislation as drafted says that such a search could be conducted if it would in fact provide the desired intelligence. Of course you can't know that with 100% certainty in advance, so we would propose a change in the language that would talk about a threshold of likely to produce. That would enable CSIS to perform the queries in exigent circumstances, and of course all of that is scrutinized after the fact by the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.
The second matter relates to testimony I read regarding ministerial directives on information sharing. As you know, I released those MDs last fall for the first time. Some of your witnesses expressed an interest in having a legal requirement that the ministerial directives be made public. I think it is an excellent idea, and I would encourage members of the committee to consider making that change in the legislation.
Mr. Chair, my officials and I are proud of the important work that we all—and when I say “all”, I mean to include the vigilant members of this committee—continue to do to ensure the security and safety of Canadians and we're happy to try to address your questions pertaining to the estimates.