Esquimalt police panel costs won’t be covered by province

Township expects to appeal decision to leave Esquimalt on the hook

Esquimalt’s mayor hopes to appeal a decision by the B.C. government not to reimburse the township for costs incurred by its police advisory panel.

The panel developed a report on Esquimalt’s policing options and ultimately recommended that the municipality switch to the RCMP from VicPD for its police services, as a cost-saving measure.

The province rejected those recommendations in June, but left the township to foot the bill.

In a letter received by council on Monday, assistant deputy minister Clayton Pecknold said the current fiscal environment does not allow the province to provide further funding to the township.

“We’re going to be sending a letter back expressing our disappointment and concern, and letting police services and Mr. Pecknold know we will be looking into an appeal process, perhaps going to the ombudsman’s office regarding these decisions,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said.

Council also took issue with the province’s refusal to cover Esquimalt’s costs, going forward, with implementing the 43 recommendations of a provincially appointed mediator.

“We feel very strongly that the province needs to step up in terms of reimbursement in some way,” Desjardins said.

Esquimalt and Victoria pay more per resident for police services than any other municipality in the Capital Regional District.

dpalmer@vicnews.com