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

Just Posted

Canadian Coast Guard breaks ground on permanent search and rescue station in Victoria

Victoria-based SAR will do all rescues in local harbour and parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Police actions under investigation following Langford arrest

IIO investigates officer-related incidents that result in serious harm

Police charge 27-year-old man with weapons offences after Langford shooting

Justin Lemmen was arrested shortly after the shooting after crashing into a truck

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Gas stations could push to 167.9 cents a litre this week

Analyst says high prices are due to supply and demand

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read