IN THE NEWS

Feb 09, 2016

Senator Bob Runciman is pushing the federal government to institute a scholarship fund for the families of federal public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

In a statement in the Senate last week, Runciman urged Finance Minister Bill Morneau to put the measure in his upcoming budget.

He wants a fund for federal officers modelled after the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety Officers’ Survivors Scholarship Fund, started 19 years ago in Ontario when Runciman was the province’s Solicitor General. That fund covers tuition and some other education expenses for the families of provincial and municipal public safety officers in the province who die in the line of duty. MacDonald was a Sudbury officer who was savagely beaten and shot, execution-style, by two ex-cons following a routine traffic stop. He left behind a wife and two young daughters.

“I know what the Ontario fund has meant to families. Just a year ago, I was approached at a Senate committee hearing by Kim Hancox, the widow of Constable Bill Hancox, a Toronto undercover officer who was stabbed to death while on a stakeout in 1998. She told me what the fund has meant to her. She has a daughter in the second year of university and a son heading off to school in the fall – a son who never saw his father, because Kim was pregnant when Bill was murdered.”

“This is a small thing for government, but it means the world to these families,” Runciman said.

Runciman noted that fewer than 60 federal public safety officers – most of them members of the RCMP – have been killed in the line of duty in the last 25 years, meaning the financial commitment of such a measure would not be onerous.

“My greatest hope is that our peace officers can return safely to their families every night. But we know they take great risks to protect us. This scholarship fund would be a small measure, but it would send a message that we appreciate their sacrifice.”

For more information, please contact:
Barry Raison, Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Senator Bob Ranchman
(613) 943-4020 (office) or by e-mail at barry.raison@sen.parl.gc.ca

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