(Surrey Now-Leader file photo)

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

B.C.’s public safety minister says the government is working with the RCMP to address a projected $10.7-million budget shortfall in the force’s provincial budget.

In a statement to Black Press Media on Thursday, Mike Farnworth said the RCMP has informed the province about a projected deficit, and that inflation, overtime and other costs have become increasingly difficult to manage.

“This has not impacted significant and continued provincial and federal investments into gangs and organized crime initiatives and prevention,” he said, including the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

The RCMP’s provincial budget covers integrated units such as homicide investigation, traffic, and forensics, as well as rural policing. Urban centres, such as Kelowna and Surrey, are largely funded by municipalities.

READ MORE: RCMP has ‘no’ dedicated money laundering investigators in B.C. (April 8, 2019)

Late Thursday, director of B.C. RCMP communications Dawn Roberts emphasized that the cuts are still just a projection, and the first things on the chopping block are travel expenses, overtime, non-mandatory training, and new equipment.

That won’t be enough, however, she added, so senior officers will need to discuss options with the province.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible. We do not want to impact front-line policing operations,” Roberts told Black Press Media in a phone interview.

When asked whether integrated units could be affected, she said: “All of us are looking at our spending envelope and seeing whether or not we can make reductions.”

Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation, said called the cuts “concerning,” but nothing new.

He said he’s mainly concerned about how to maintain adequate service levels and how to ensure staff receive enough down time. He’s also seen mention of a “possible freeze” in staffing areas like transfers and promotions.

“Whether it has to do with extra work or working harder to get the job done, [Mounties] will still do it,” he told Black Press Media by phone.

The RCMP has not had union representation until now. The federation was finally certified as the official bargaining agent earlier this year following a historic court ruling back in 2015.

Sauve said he hopes to meet with the premier and public safety minister soon. Roberts said she anticipated that the union would be involved in future negotiations.

KEEP READING: Feds announce $10M for RCMP to fight money laundering (June 13, 2019)

ALSO: Surrey’s new police force must avoid VPD, RCMP errors in Pickton case, Wally Oppal says

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Saanich allows retail sale of recreational cannabis for specific zones

Amendments to the 2003 bylaw allows retail sale of recreational cannabis in Saanich

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

SD 62 re-elects Ravi Parmar to lead the board for second term

Former Langford fire chief Bob Beckett, in his first term, gets the nod as vice-chair

UPDATED: Royal Jubilee gets 15 more patient beds for Greater Victoria end-of-life care

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

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

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Most Read