Greetings everyone. This is Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
This is National Police Week in Canada. Canadians are fortunate to live in one of the safest countries in the world.
And that's in large part because of the police officers who put their lives on the line everyday to protect us.
These remarkable men and women are on the front lines daily, responding to accidents, emergencies, crime scenes and calls for help.
They also do less visible but equally challenging work behind the scenes, such as fighting organized crime and investigating threats to our national security.
If that wasn't enough, many officers dedicate their off-duty hours to volunteer work in the community.
In all that they do, Canadian police officers are distinguished by their bravery and professionalism.
The entire world saw that on display just recently, in the minutes following that senseless and horrific van attack in Toronto.
Thanks to the calm and measured response of police, a suspect was arrested without a single shot being fired.
That courage and calmness under pressure drew praise from people here at home and all around the world.
All of us should be proud of the way Canadian police handled a very tense and difficult and dangerous situation.
Unfortunately, when answering a call, things can go horribly wrong sometimes for even the most highly skilled and trained officers. Sometimes, that means making the ultimate sacrifice.
In those tragic circumstances, Canada's new Memorial Grant Program for First Responders will help ensure that families have the support they need.
It provides a one-time lump-sum payment of $300,000 to the surviving family members of a police officer or other first responder who dies as a direct result of their duties.
I also know that police work can take officers down some dark and dangerous paths. Many officers struggle with stress or are haunted by the traumatic events they've experienced on the job.
Budget 2018 delivers on the Government of Canada's commitment to the mental health and well-being of public safety officers, with new funding for important initiatives, including national research and a pilot of Internet-based therapy and treatment.
This week, and throughout the year, I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the selfless contributions of those who dedicate their lives and careers to keeping the rest of us safe.
And on behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank all police officers for their dedicated service to our country and their communities.