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

North Island students release salmon fry

180 students from kindergarten to grade seven partipcated in the program

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Port McNeill gets yarn bombed

Colourful crochet creations pop up all over town

Port Hardy Council approves construction of the Multiplex project

Goahead given to “phase one” of the process

Pacific Coastal Airlines in the hot seat at council meeting

Boothroyd noted Pacific Coastal Airlines “Give is larger than the size of our footprint.”

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Mount Washington skier defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read