Municipal Police Budgets in Ontario

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| Published , updated April 22, 2024

Salaries account for the vast majority of police budgets

In Canada, most of the money in police budgets ends up in officers’ paycheques. Salaries, wages, benefits and pensions accounted for 77 per cent of overall Ontario police expenditures in 2018, a rate that has stayed more or less unchanged since 2009, according to The Globe’s analysis. Even then, some cities spend far more than others. In Hamilton and Thunder Bay, 90 per cent of police funds went to salaries in 2018.

The Globe and Mail

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) serves 16.3% of the population and 74% of municipalities

The OPP is a division of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the largest operational ministry in the province with a presence in every community across Ontario. They are the largest police service in Ontario and the second largest in Canada.

In 2020, the OPP provided municipal policing services to 327, or 74%, of Ontario’s municipalities, and is responsible for patrolling over 1 million square kilometres across the province, from remote northern and First Nation communities to rural and urban centres.

The OPP’s operating expenditures totalled more than $1.2 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year, an increase of 26% since our last audit in
2011/12. Salaries and benefits costs represented 88% of these expenditures.

The OPP’s efforts to monitor and measure the quality and effectiveness of the police services it provides is limited. In addition, the OPP does not use performance indicators with targets to measure its effectiveness.

Value-for-Money Audit: Ontario Provincial Police – Auditor General of Ontario (2021)

The Ontario Provincial Police Collective Bargaining Act, 2006 governs how the OPP can negotiate with the province for a collective agreement.

The OPP has 5,800 uniformed officers, 2,600 civilian employees and 600 Auxiliary officers.

The OPP Association (OPPA) represents members’ interests in negotiations with the employer (the Ontario government) and has over 6,200 uniform and approximately 3,600 civilian members.

On March 26, 2024 Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) employees overwhelmingly ratified a five-year collective agreement negotiated by their union, Healthcare and Service Workers Union, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) Local 304.

Suspended police officers in Ontario earned $134M between 2013-2024

  • Less than 2% of the approximately 25,140 officers currently on duty in 61 communities.
  • Nearly half of all officers suspended and convicted of a crime returned to work. Just under one in 10 were fired.
  • Police officers in Ontario must comply with the Code of Conduct in the Community Safety and Policing Act.
CBC News investigation (2024)

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