The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Taneen Rudyk issued the following statement on contract policing and unbudgeted costs from the new RCMP collective agreement.
“Ensuring the safety of our communities through effective police services is a top priority for local governments across the country. To prevent serious repercussions on residents and community services, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, along with provincial and territorial associations in impacted regions, has been calling on the federal government to absorb all retroactive costs associated with the signing of the new RCMP bargaining agreement.
“Municipalities are paying a growing share of policing costs, but they cannot run deficits and have limited revenue tools. The federal government needs to absorb costs related to the retroactive pay instead of shifting the burden to those who can least afford it: communities and residents.
“Municipalities were not at the table for these negotiations. And while cost estimates were provided to some municipalities, these turned out to be far below the final agreement’s increase over six years, with retroactive pay going back to 2017. Facing such unplanned costs, many local governments across the affected provinces are concerned about how they are supposed to pay.
“A recently announced pause in invoicing is a common-sense step and an important short-term breather but it doesn’t solve the problem; the issue is far from over. Together with the federal government, we must find an immediate solution to cover retroactive policing bills. Without a solution, municipal councils will be forced to make incredibly tough decisions: to make cuts to essential services or pass the bill along to residents through major property tax increases.
“Going forward, municipalities need to have a voice in the process to ensure this situation doesn’t occur again. Growing our partnership on public safety across orders of government is the best way to maintain the service levels necessary for community safety and the financial sustainability of contract policing services across Canada.”
See how the RCMP contract policing issue is affecting communities here.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) unites more than 2,000 local governments at the national level, representing more than 90 per cent of Canadians in every province and territory.
For more information: FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, firstname.lastname@example.org