Esquimalt concerned over cost of police recommendations

Coun. Hundleby left ‘disillusioned’ after previous review brought little change

Esquimalt councillors will spend the summer mulling over how to best proceed in the ongoing dispute to stick with Victoria police services, after residents weighed in on the township’s consideration of legal action against the province.

A special council meeting was held Monday night to allow public input into a mediator’s report on the matter released last month. Its findings, accepted by the Ministry of Justice, went against Esquimalt’s own police advisory panel recommendation that the municipality switch to RCMP services as a cost-saving measure. Only Victoria pays more per resident for police services in the Capital Regional District.

The most contentious issue is identifying who will pay to implement the report’s 43 recommendations and ultimately, how a lack of compliance, either by Victoria or Esquimalt, would be enforced.

“There’s no hammer, nothing to force anybody to do anything,” said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

She said she was disillusioned after a 2010 audit of the Victoria Police Board failed to improve the working relationship between the two municipalities on the topic.

“The audit addressed our concerns, but nothing was done about it; it was dismissed. I get the feeling that we’ve been dismissed all along,” Hundleby said.

The township spent an estimated $300,000 compiling its rejected report, leaving councillors hesitant to take expensive legal action against the province.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the mediator’s report contains several recommendations that would be expensive to implement, such as a CRD working group, intended to help create cost-sharing measures on regional policing concerns.

“VicPD have tried valiantly to create discussion for a more regionalized approach,” Desjardins told council Monday.

In a statement, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson wrote that the province would provide the “necessary support and resources” to implement the recommendations, including funding for a facilitator and “providing training to police board members to enhance and strengthen governance.”

Esquimalt council plans to revisit the issue at its Aug. 13 meeting.

Just Posted

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Preschool group helps release fish into Glen Lake

The number of fish released correlates to the number of fish caught per year

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

RV David Thompson unveiled in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Parks Canada research vessel part of billion-dollar environmental investment

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Most Read