(Surrey Now-Leader file photo)

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

B.C.’s public safety minister says the government is working with the RCMP to address a projected $10.7-million budget shortfall in the force’s provincial budget.

In a statement to Black Press Media on Thursday, Mike Farnworth said the RCMP has informed the province about a projected deficit, and that inflation, overtime and other costs have become increasingly difficult to manage.

“This has not impacted significant and continued provincial and federal investments into gangs and organized crime initiatives and prevention,” he said, including the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

The RCMP’s provincial budget covers integrated units such as homicide investigation, traffic, and forensics, as well as rural policing. Urban centres, such as Kelowna and Surrey, are largely funded by municipalities.

READ MORE: RCMP has ‘no’ dedicated money laundering investigators in B.C. (April 8, 2019)

Late Thursday, director of B.C. RCMP communications Dawn Roberts emphasized that the cuts are still just a projection, and the first things on the chopping block are travel expenses, overtime, non-mandatory training, and new equipment.

That won’t be enough, however, she added, so senior officers will need to discuss options with the province.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible. We do not want to impact front-line policing operations,” Roberts told Black Press Media in a phone interview.

When asked whether integrated units could be affected, she said: “All of us are looking at our spending envelope and seeing whether or not we can make reductions.”

Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation, said called the cuts “concerning,” but nothing new.

He said he’s mainly concerned about how to maintain adequate service levels and how to ensure staff receive enough down time. He’s also seen mention of a “possible freeze” in staffing areas like transfers and promotions.

“Whether it has to do with extra work or working harder to get the job done, [Mounties] will still do it,” he told Black Press Media by phone.

The RCMP has not had union representation until now. The federation was finally certified as the official bargaining agent earlier this year following a historic court ruling back in 2015.

Sauve said he hopes to meet with the premier and public safety minister soon. Roberts said she anticipated that the union would be involved in future negotiations.

KEEP READING: Feds announce $10M for RCMP to fight money laundering (June 13, 2019)

ALSO: Surrey’s new police force must avoid VPD, RCMP errors in Pickton case, Wally Oppal says

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Clearwater Famers Market looking for help

“The Farmers Market and the North Thompson (Valley) need more local food.”

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Rainer Meat Cutting continues family tradition

Finding a new role in the days of COVID-19

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read