Transfer of RCMP Police Dispatch Costs

UBCM has conveyed concerns to the Province regarding the transfer of RCMP police dispatch costs to South Vancouver Island local governments. In a letter to Minister Mike Farnworth, UBCM raised several key issues, including the absence of consultation and communication with affected local governments.

The Province and affected local governments originally understood that transferring police dispatch services from the nearby RCMP operational communications centre to the new E-Comm South Island Dispatch Centre would not result in any financial impacts. In most parts of British Columbia, RCMP police dispatch costs are absorbed by federal and provincial orders of government. 

In 2018, the RCMP advised the Province that, in accordance with the Municipal Police Unit Agreement, this service should become the financial responsibility of affected local governments. The RCMP and Province eventually confirmed this interpretation without consulting the affected local governments. 

UBCM and affected local governments were advised of this development in December 2020. In an email response to UBCM, Minister Mike Farnworth acknowledged local government concerns, and ensured that “future matters that have a significant impact to municipalities, financial or otherwise, will be brought forward through the appropriate channels.”

UBCM has also been advised that the Province has no intention of seeking a similar police dispatch service arrangement elsewhere in BC, other than the Lower Mainland where it already exists. 

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