Decision imminent on Esquimalt’s policing fate: Minister Bond

Frustrations have mounted in year-long wait for decision

Esquimalt will soon learn whether it will be allowed to contract RCMP services, or told to stay with the Victoria Police Department.

“We are in the final stages of discussions with Victoria and Esquimalt,” Minister of Justice Shirley Bond told the News. “I can assure you this process will be completed soon, and we will be in a position to release the mediator’s report and announce a policing plan shortly.”

She did not say when her decision would be made public.

Esquimalt’s policing and law enforcement advisory panel hoped to hear back late last year, after it submitted its RCMP recommendation to Bond’s office in June 2011.

Instead, the province called for a third-party mediator to review the funding, governance and dispute-resolution issues plaguing the Victoria Police Board. That report was submitted in late January and presented to board members in recent months.

“(That report has) been confused as a solution (for the) long term,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, chair of the township’s police panel.

The panel is advocating for more control of its policing costs and to be consulted on the style of policing delivered in the community.

“When you have an amalgamated force where you have (several) times the amount of population in one community versus the other, you cannot have an equitable say in how and where and when (policing is delivered).”

Residents are more than ready for any decision.

(They’re) at a point where, ‘let’s just make a decision and move on,'” said Nick Kovacs, co-chair of the Esquimalt Residents Association. “(Residents) feel like the position has been debated to death.”

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, who chairs the Victoria Police Board, declined to comment.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Anti-racism rally takes to the streets of downtown Victoria

Vigil for George Floyd planned at B.C. Legislature for 7 p.m.

West Shore RCMP tags spray-painting suspect for drug trafficking

Spray-painting incidents took place over weekend

Monday rings in partial return of school across Saanich Peninsula

Saanich School District reopening of schools comes with revised health measures

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read