FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Prince George, BC - City Council approved a call on April 12 to join the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in requesting the federal government meaningfully consult with local governments on Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) policing costs in the future.
"We are proud to join with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in advocating for greater transparency and consultation on RCMP charges,” said Mayor Yu. “It is important that the federal government work collaboratively with local governments to ensure that policing services costs are handled fairly.”
The resolution came at the heels of the 2023 federal budget that confirmed communities relying on RCMP services for local policing (like Prince George) are expected to cover the costs in full, including the most recent retroactive amount of $5.374 million associated with the RCMP collective bargaining agreement covering 2017 to 2023. Local governments have an extended two-year period to make the full payment.
The City set aside $5.269 million to cover most of the retroactive sum, but Council will use the rest of the Safe Restart fund ($2.969 million) to partially meet the expense.
Over the course of several months, FCM led municipalities and other groups in lobbying the federal government to absorb the RCMP retroactive payments into the 2023 budget, but ultimately failed to convince Ottawa. FCM expressed concern that the federal government negotiated the retroactive costs with municipal money but not with municipal input. According to the Federation, municipal governments are paying a growing share of policing costs, but cannot do so in the long term through deficit spending and with access to limited revenue-generating sources.
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Mike Lee, senior communications advisor
City of Prince George