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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN | Creating a “community of practice” inspires

Art Matters by columnist Sarah Zimmerman

Hockey puck with nails found at Terrace Sportsplex Arena

City believes it has already caused $4,000 of damage

Kitselas First Nation receives $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

Terrace Skating Club takes home 24 medals from regional championships

Skaters claim top spot for fifth year in a row

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read