(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

Just Posted

Voices for the Salish Sea: catchy rhythms and a little confusion

The show was brought to us by the amalgamation of two bands: Tiller’s Folly and The Wilds.

‘Cram the Cruiser’ fundraiser returns to Port McNeill

Cram The Cruiser has traditionally been the single largest fundraiser for the local food bank.

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

North Island Rising: Carbon pricing

“I’ve been fortunate enough to hear from and talk with all sides of the climate discussion”

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

Police acted properly when they responded to the first reports of the boy being in distress

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: B.C. professor

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Most Read