A recently-elected Conservative MP in the southern B.C. Interior says governments need to step up as B.C. RCMP is facing a $10 million deficit.
Rob Morrison, a former RCMP superintendent in B.C. who was just elected as the MP for Kootenay-Columbia, said governments need to ensure rural communities are protected.
“Government, at all levels, has a responsibility to provide safety and security,” said Morrison, in a statement. “Removing Mounties from small detachments across rural BC does not serve that responsibility and I am actively working with local MLAs on this issue.
“The province of British Columbia is accountable to provide policing services by contracting the RCMP from the Federal government. To ensure that the RCMP protects local communities, Conservatives believe that the local RCMP should be accountable to the communities they serve. Left unresolved this becomes a disservice to rural British Columbians.”
B.C. RCMP is grappling with a $10 million deficit and currently eyeing cost-saving measures to rein in ballooning expenses, according to a RCMP spokesperson.
“I can tell you that we’ve had some financial pressures, so we have to take the steps to ensure that our costs can be assessed and prioritized within the funds available and we’re primarily dealing with administrative or discretionary spending right now,” said Dawn Roberts, in an interview on Thursday evening.
“No services, programs or units have been changed.”
Roberts said discretionary and administrative spending is going to be heavily scrutinized, which includes areas such as capital spending, training workshops or courses, postponing a planned replacement of the marine fleet and potentially reducing vehicle purchases.
“We know if we take all these steps, we’re not going to find the complete savings, so that’s why we’re working closely with the B.C. government, specifically B.C. police services and our solicitor-general,” she said.
“We need to find ways to address the issues of these pressures, make sure our provincial budget is sufficiently funded, and then reduce, cut or eliminate whatever the province decides is the service we don’t need to deliver and those discussions are still underway.”
Roberts said there has been internal consultations with all detachments and units to identify spending trends and cost-saving measures to meet the B.C. RCMP’s provincial budget.