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.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

West Shore firefighters answer call to battle fires in north-central B.C.

Crews to help with structural fire protection in Fort St. James

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read