UBCM: RCMP Contract Management Committee Update
Sept. 11, 2019
The Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC) meets regularly with provincial and RCMP representatives to discuss issues related to the RCMP contract and policing in British Columbia. The following summary highlights key issues discussed at its most recent meeting.
Provincial Policing Priorities and Vision:
Provincial representatives outlined the Province’s policing priorities and vision, which include, but are not limited to:
- Organized and violent crime (including guns and gangs);
- Recognizing UNDRIP principles and providing effective policing services to Indigenous communities;
- Fiscal accountability, good governance and modernizing police capabilities;
- Effective crime reduction and prevention strategies.
RCMP Policing Priorities and Vision 150
RCMP representatives discussed Vision 150, the Commissioner’s plan to modernize the RCMP in advance of its 150thanniversary in 2023. Vision 150 focuses on four pillars: our (RCMP) people, culture, stewardship and policing services. Local government representatives noted potential cost implications for local governments, and as a result asked to be engaged throughout the Vision 150 process.
RCMP Management Advisory Board
Public Safety Canada recently announced the creation of a Civilian Management Advisory Board, a recommendation from several recent reviews. While the Commissioner will maintain authority over management and operations, the Board will provide an outside perspective and advice to the Commissioner on how to address issues of harassment and workplace culture, and administration and management of the RCMP. The Board will not be involved in issues related to law enforcement investigations or operations.
Regular Member Demand/Vacancies
RCMP representatives discussed the contribution of hard vacancies (e.g. open positions, long-term disability, etc.) and soft vacancies (e.g. members on training, short-term medical leave, maternity/paternity leave, etc.) to the overall provincial vacancy rate. Depot, the RCMP Training Academy, is expected to ramp up, and graduate more cadets in the upcoming year than in previous years, potentially alleviating some of the vacancy pressure. RCMP representatives spoke about prioritizing limited duration postings, isolated postings and provincial policing (e.g. rural and unincorporated areas).
With the expectation that the federal Treasury Board Secretariat will soon be served with a notice to bargain, “E” Division has established a labour relations officer position to liaise with Ottawa. Local governments were once again advised to be proactive and set aside money, as collective bargaining could potentially result in significant increases to policing costs.
Major RCMP Operational Issues/Initiatives
“E” Division is currently dealing with a number of major operational issues related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline; natural gas line from Dawson Creek to Kitimat; multiple mines; Site C; and, fish farms with expiring licences. Other issues include:
- Wildfires:The RCMP has been working with EMBC, as well as local and regional district management committees to address challenges.
- Homelessness and Homeless Camps:The RCMP has developed a divisional homelessness committee to address this growing issue.
- Opioids:The opioid crisis continues to put pressure on policing resources. All RCMP members have access to naloxone kits.
- Jordan Decision:As a result of this decision, the RCMP is working to address pressures that require investigations be disclosed to Crown Counsel as soon as possible.
- Cannabis Legalization:The RCMP has not yet seen a sharp increase in its workload, but the belief is that it will soon come. There has been a slight increase in drug-impaired driving since non-medical cannabis was legalized.
- Additional Priorities:Other RCMP priorities include money laundering, addressing recommendations from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and front line policing.
RCMP Building Lease Agreements
Across BC, local governments are faced with different occupancy (lease) agreements for RCMP detachments, whether the federal or local government owns a building. Over the past 20-30 years, there have been a variety of inconsistent, ad hoc agreements. Now that many of these agreements have matured, there are different interpretations of their meaning. With more agreements to follow, the RCMP, Province and UBCM have agreed to work together to figure out a principled approach on which to base renewed and future agreements.
Local governments and the Province discussed provincial policing resources, specifically the need for more front line officers. UBCM has recently conducted advocacy, seeking an increase in provincial front line policing resources throughout BC.
Provincial representatives provided an update on the status of the Auxiliary Program. Due to previously expressed concerns, the local government representatives continued to support provincial research into the possibility of developing a BC-only program.
The Local Government Contract Management Committee appreciates your feedback on any of the RCMP contract and other policing issues identified above. UBCM members who have questions or comments are encouraged to contact Bhar Sihota, UBCM Policy Analyst.