Policing Contract Management Committee update

On October 21-22, 2020, the Contract Management Committee (CMC), including representatives from provinces, territories and local governments, met with federal and RCMP representatives to discuss matters related to the RCMP Police Services Agreements. Key issues discussed at the meeting are summarized in this article. 

Enhancements to Consultation Standard Operating Procedures

The development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for engagement between the RCMP and contract partners was one of the key results of the 2016-17 Five Year Review. At the October 2020 CMC meeting, the RCMP proposed amendments to the SOP, with the intention of formalizing a consistent approach to consultation and improving transparency. 

RCMP Auxiliary Program

Although the former Auxiliary Program was terminated on April 1, 2020, contract partners are still working with the RCMP National Headquarters to finalize the MOU for the new program. The RCMP will review concerns expressed by contract partners. As contract partners work toward an agreement with the RCMP, the BC Government continues to examine the feasibility of operating a BC-only program.

Body Worn Cameras

As part of the federal commitment to examine the use of Body Worn Cameras for police officers, a pilot project is set to begin in Nunavut by the end of November. CMC members continued to stress the importance of consultation given financial implications.

Five Year Review

Article of 22 of the 2012 Provincial Police Service Agreement provides contract partners with a review mechanism to analyze and address any substantive issues, including financial and other significant provisions, at five-year intervals. The first Five Year Review concluded in 2017, with the next review to begin in early 2021. UBCM has published an article providing more information, and advising local governments to submit their issues of concern by February 26, 2021. 

Regular Member Demand and Soft Vacancies

The RCMP and contract partners discussed Regular Member (RM) demand methodologies, with the RCMP presenting their revised model to the CMC. Contract partners stressed the importance of collaboration to ensure all parties agree on demand and vacancy numbers. 

The RM demand model affects front line policing, including the allocation of cadets to contract jurisdictions. This year has been particularly challenging, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused Depot to temporarily shut down, negatively impacting the number of troops that completed training. Contract jurisdictions that requested new cadets will likely experience delays in receiving those officers. 

RCMP Strategic Plan

RCMP representatives discussed the process used to develop the Strategic Plan, which as part of Vision 150 intends to outline modernization initiatives the organization is seeking to advance. Contract partners emphasized the need for thorough consultation as part of this process, so that provincial, territorial and local government feedback can be incorporated.

Eleventh Pension Panel Report

Article 11 of the Police Services Agreements stipulates that every three years a Pension Panel must examine and report on the amount of pension contribution that contract jurisdictions should reimburse the federal government for the costs of pension coverage. Pursuant to the RCMP Superannuation Act and Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act, these reimbursements are required for RCMP Members employed by contract jurisdictions.

CMC representatives considered the Pension Panel’s recommendation to slightly increase the employer’s contribution to Members’ pensions from 19.07% of pensionable salaries to 19.44% (+0.37%) for the next three fiscal years beginning April 1, 2021. Depending on local government population and associated cost-sharing ratios, the financial impacts will range from under $1,000 to just over $200,000. This change is minimal compared to the Tenth Pension Panel Report, which reduced the employer’s contribution from 22.7% to 19.07% (-3.63%) from April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2021.

Due to the timing of cycles for the Pension Panel’s reports, this change is not reflected in the most recent multi-year policing plan issued to BC local governments. 

Any questions regarding these issues may be directed to Bhar Sihota, UBCM Senior Policy Analyst.

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