The fifth and final stamp of Canada Post’s “Emergency Responders” set, which is being issued nationwide today, commemorates the country’s police officers.
The stamp was unveiled this morning at the Ottawa Police Association building. Canada Post and its commissioned designers consulted with the Canadian Police Association, whose members represent roughly 60,000 police personnel from across Canada, to ensure the stamp represents policing accurately.
The roles and responsibilities of policing in Canada have changed throughout the country’s history, dating back to the watchman system used in Europe and transferred to Québec in the mid-17th century.
Policing in Canada is administered on three levels – municipal, provincial and federal – and last year, there were 141 stand-alone police services and 36 First Nations self-administered services at the municipal level.
The provincial police service of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is responsible for policing St. John’s, Corner Brook and Labrador West while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides provincial, municipal and First Nations policing to the remainder of the province (in addition to the national force’s federal policing role).
The other two provincial services – the Ontario Provincial Police and Sûreté du Québec – are responsible for serving communities in those provinces without stand-alone municipal forces. They are also responsible for provincial highways and other areas under provincial jurisdiction.
Provinces without a provincial service have these duties provided by the RCMP, which is also responsible for all federal policing matters, including serious and organized crime; financial crime; and specialized policing services such as the Canadian Firearms Program and the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre.
There are nearly 70,000 police officers in Canada with 55 per cent of those employed by municipal police services.
The entire five-stamp “Emergency Responders” set is now available for purchase on canadapost.ca and at postal outlets across Canada.