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.

Just Posted

Individuals chosen to begin ‘road to recovery’ at supportive housing facility

Orca Place at 222 Corfield St. is expected to open this summer

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

Qualicum Beach craft beer festival to showcase local brews, spirits

Event will feature 20 Vancouver Island breweries and distilleries

Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs

Union of B.C. Municipalities provides $125,000 grant

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Most Read