RCMP coverage is a major cost driver for B.C. municipalities and those costs jump sharply when a population exceeds 5

B.C. cities seek policing cost reform at UBCM

Smaller communities want to smooth out abrupt jump in RCMP costs when their population tops 5,000

B.C. municipal leaders are urging reforms to the current formula for allocating policing costs.

When a small city reaches more than 5,000 population, its share of policing costs suddenly spikes and property tax bills soar

Grand Forks Coun. Christine Thompson said there will be a “horrendous cost” to her taxpayers when Grand Forks reaches 5,000 residents and its share of policing costs leaps from 30 per cent to 70 per cent.

“It can be pretty catastrophic for small communities,” added Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes, whose city has crossed that threshold.

A resolution passed Thursday by UBCM calls on the province to redraw the formula so the municipal contribution grows more gradually.

It was opposed by representatives of even smaller communities and unincorporated areas who said their jurisdictions don’t cause as much crime as urban centres nor do they get the same level of police service, and therefore they shouldn’t be forced to pay more than they do now through such a reform.

North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring noted Duncan has somehow kept just under the 5,000-resident threshold. “The joke is they send 15 people to Hawaii at census time because it’s cheaper.”

UBCM delegates passed a second Terrace-sponsored resolution that calls for a detailed analysis of rural policing requirements so any changes can be based on actual data.

Terrace Coun. Stacy Byers noted Terrace so far doesn’t bar its municipally funded RCMP officers from leaving city limits to help patrol outlying neighbourhoods that don’t contribute to city police costs.

But she noted other municipalities are beginning to take that hard-line approach.

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

Just Posted

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

‘A long way to go’: UNBC hosts Moose Hide Campaign gathering on Feb. 24

The event is a part of a movement to stand up against violence inflicted on women and children

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read