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City raises concern over dramatic increase in policing costs

Mayor Lyn Hall has joined the mayors of 12 other B.C. municipalities in co-signing a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ask the federal government to re-evaluate the cost-sharing balance for retroactive pay and ongoing increases resulting from the new RCMP collective agreement. The letter was included as an item of correspondence at last night’s Council meeting.

The mayors are requesting that the federal government consider an equal cost-sharing approach to offset the financial implications for local governments of a sudden implementation of a nearly 24 per cent raise and retroactive pay of the RCMP’s first collective agreement. The mayors also asked the federal government to pay a minimum of 50 percent of the retroactive pay and associated costs, and for an in-person meeting in Ottawa with the prime minister to discuss the matter and its potential implications for municipalities.

Kris Dalio, director of finance, reported that while the city has been setting aside funds according to the amount the federal government recommended, the city would still owe $2.7 million more than has been set aside to date. In sum, the federal government negotiated a contract in excess of what was previously indicated to municipal governments.

Council also moved that a second letter be sent from the mayor on behalf of Council asking the federal government for a meeting to convey the city’s concerns.

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