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

RCMP coverage is a major cost driver for B.C. municipalities and those costs jump sharply when a population exceeds 5

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

Tofino’s Clayoquot Oyster Festival scaled back for 2017

Organizers optimistic about years to come

Pacific Rim Whale Festival in dire need of volunteers around Tofino and Ucluelet

Society’s treasurer Marilyn McEwen fears 2018 could be event’s final year.

Ambassadors educate travellers in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Team tackled off-leash dogs, left-out attractants and shoreline safety.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read