The RCMP musical ride performing in Surrey in February 2010.

B.C. close to deal to keep RCMP

Negotiators for provinces to recommend new policing contract

B.C. now appears close to inking a new 20-year policing contract with the RCMP.

Negotiations in Ottawa ended last week with an apparent tentative agreement that could keep the Mounties as the police force for most B.C. cities.

Solicitor General Shirley Bond stressed no final decisions have been made, describing it as a large, complicated contract and noting some of her counterparts in other provinces may not yet be briefed.

“We’ve certainly made progress,” she said Monday. “Each individual jurisdiction needs to deal with the information that’s been provided.”

Bond wouldn’t call it a tentative agreement and when asked why not said she doesn’t want to get caught up in semantics.

“I’ve not made a decision yet regarding the discussion that has taken place,” she said, adding more technical work is required.

To meet an end-of-November deadline imposed by Ottawa, the deputy ministers leading the talks for each province or territory are to confirm by Wednesday they will recommend the agreement to their respective ministers and cabinets.

No details have been released on the potential new contract.

“I’m not going to presume anything about what the province is going to do with the report they get from their deputy,” said Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, the municipal observer in the talks. “Until it goes through the process, we don’t know whether we have a deal.”

Final decisions to sign would still be up to each provincial cabinet, he said, and promised city councils in RCMP-policed cities will get detailed briefings as soon as possible.

Fassbender said the recent talks have been “productive” and said federal officials have become more willing to address municipal concerns.

“Everybody came to the table with a desire to find the best for both Canada and the provinces and territories,” he said.

Cities had demanded greater control over how the RCMP are managed, particularly in the containment of costs and greater transparency and accountability.

Federal officials in September told B.C. to sign the new RCMP contract by the end of November or they’d begin withdrawing the Mounties in 2014.

That ultimatum prompted Bond to begin considering the launch of a replacement provincial force, if necessary.

Any new contract would still have opt-out clauses under which any city can form its own municipal force or the province could end the RCMP contract and form a provincial force.

The deal is not expected to change the current cost-sharing formula, which sees large cities pay 90 per cent of local RCMP costs, while smaller ones pay 70 per cent.

A new contract management committee to address local concerns on an ongoing basis is among the new components of the contract.

Just Posted

Northwestern BC Hydro transmission line to be refurbished

Replacing poles between Kitimat and Terrace far cheaper than complete new line

Riparian project addressing loss of fish breeding habitat

A sustainable forest helps restore salmon habitat

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Most Read