Services of RCMP in P.E.I. to cost more

Published on February 23, 2016

Services of RCMP in P.E.I. to cost more

The six P.E.I. municipalities that have agreements with the province for RCMP services will have a higher bill than expected this year.

There will be a five per increase for municipalities with an extended service agreement with the province, including Montague, Borden-Carleton, Souris, O’Leary, Alberton and Tignish.

The increase is due to cost increases, according to an official with the P.E.I. Federation of Municipalities.

Notice of the increase was issued on Friday, but most municipal leaders had not received or been notified of the increase when contacted by The Guardian for comment Monday.

Even the Federation of Municipalities was not aware until it contacted the province and confirmed the increase is indeed going ahead.

The official from the federation did not want to be quoted, as he knew so little about this development.

Dean Sexton, mayor of Borden-Carleton, said an increase of five per cent would be a major hit to the town’s budget.

“They’re just going to have all the small municipalities give up on the RCMP. We’re not going to be able to afford it if it keeps going up like this.”

Sexton said his town council is in the process of drawing up the year’s operating budget and was not expecting an increase to its RCMP contract of five per cent.

He, too, had not yet been officially notified of the increase.

“Not even anybody on council had an inkling this was going to happen. We figured we were OK for another year because we just had an increase,” Sexton said, referencing a seven per cent increase for RCMP services within the last two years.

“It will probably end up being a deal breaker for us in doing the contract with them if this is going to keep on going like this. And I think all small towns will be saying the same thing.”

Meanwhile, the province announced Monday it will launch a comprehensive review of the province’s police services.

This is the first provincewide review of police services in more than 40 years.

The review will consult with law enforcement, emergency response partners, communities and Islanders on viable and effective models for policing services, according to a news release issued Monday by the province.

“This review will assist us in determining the future direction of policing and create opportunities for closer collaboration and co-ordination,” said Premier and Justice Minister Wade MacLauchlan.

A request for proposals will be issued for the review, and $150,000 has been allocated for this work.