Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond announced that the Province has reached a final agreement with the federal government for a new RCMP contract, a milestone achievement that reflects the Province's vision for a new partnership based on transparency and accountability.
Audio of Minister Bond on contract (snd.sc)
The current agreement expires on March 31. The new agreement has a 20-year term and features historic changes to management and financial transparency provisions. Provincial, federal and municipal governments will now jointly oversee how services are delivered and costs are managed over time - with a five-year review planned to ensure the contract is achieving the needs of the communities policed by the RCMP.
In addition to the enhanced Contract Management Committee, which will now include an associate local government member, the Province has also established a new B.C. Local Government RCMP Contract Management Committee. This new committee of Union of British Columbia Municipalities' representatives will help local governments throughout B.C. influence cost and service decisions in an ongoing and co-ordinated way throughout the life of the new contract.
In the new contract, the basic cost-sharing formulas remain the same, while the ability for municipalities to monitor and plan for costs has been substantially improved. In addition to clearly defined roles in contract management discussions, local governments will see increased financial reporting from the RCMP that will empower them to plan for costs in coordination with municipal planning cycles and also assess value for money.
The agreement will support continued progress in enhancing public confidence in police and modernizing the justice sector and marks a higher standard of accountability to the Province and B.C. communities than ever before.
In 2011, the Province reached agreement-in-principle on this new RCMP contract, created the new civilian-led independent investigations office (IIO) and introduced new provincial policing standards that address conducted energy weapons, use of force, training and video surveillance in police buildings. The RCMP has supported both the IIO and the new standards. In addition to a new RCMP Commissioner, a new Deputy Commissioner in B.C., the new contract is one of the important steps in creating more transparency and accountability.
As the Province moves forward this year with the justice review and a strategic plan for policing, the RCMP will be a valuable partner in our dialogue with British Columbians.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond -
"B.C. set out to gain new management tools based on extensive consultation and input from our municipal partners. This contract gives us new management and oversight ability that will allow us to contain costs and take a more direct role in determining what police services will look like in our province."
"For the first time, municipalities across the province will be able to influence cost and service decisions in an ongoing and co-ordinated way through a new UBCM Local Government Contract Management Committee. We will build on the work done during our negotiations to encourage stronger partnerships with our federal and municipal partners to ensure that British Columbians can have confidence in the way the RCMP serves B.C."
Minister of Public Safety Canada Vic Toews -
"Today is a significant milestone for RCMP Contract Policing. I am very pleased to announce that our Government and the Province of British Columbia have reached an agreement that will continue the relationship between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the people of British Columbia for the next two decades."
Mayor Peter Fassbender, City of Langley, RCMP contract negotiations municipal representative -
"We can all look forward to a much greater sense of partnership ahead, one that is spelled out very clearly in the new agreement. It will empower local government leaders, whose citizens ultimately hold them accountable for the safety of their communities and the costs associated with keeping them safe."
"I want to thank the provincial and the federal governments for their recognition in the new contract of the significant role and stake that local governments have in policing."
Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, Commanding Officer of the B.C. RCMP -
"The RCMP is B.C.'s police force and we remain committed to being the accountable, transparent and trusted organization British Columbians deserve."
"This new agreement reflects our belief that the effective delivery of police services must be done in collaboration with contracting partners and local communities. It underscores the value and importance of the relationships necessary for us to remain connected to the many diverse and unique communities we are honoured to serve throughout this province."
- The current RCMP contract expires on March 31, 2012.
- The Province reached an Agreement-in-Principle with the federal government in November 2011.
- Since then, the Province and the other jurisdictions it represented in the negotiations have been working toward final language changes that reflect bilateral elements unique to their jurisdictions.
- In January, the Province provided engagement sessions for local governments through UBCM and negotiators subsequently finalized the language in the municipal-level agreements.
- The agreement has a 20-year term, however, all contract parties will be able to review the contract every five years, and will continue to be able to opt out of the contract with two years' notice.
- The basic cost-sharing formulae remain the same. Small municipalities with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 will continue to pay 70 per cent of their contract costs, and municipalities with a population over 15,000 will continue to pay 90 per cent.
- The new contract is the result of four years of negotiations that B.C. led at the provincial and territorial level on behalf of six jurisdictions and more than 60 B.C. municipalities (Alberta and Saskatchewan sought bilateral agreements with the federal government in August 2011).
To access the agreements go to:
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Justice
March 21, 2012 Ministry of Justice
The terms of the contract
The provinces and territories negotiated based on three common goals:
- Changing the relationship from client-based to true partnership.
- Expanding operational and financial accountability.
- Cost-containment and cost control.
The terms settled reflect significant progress in all three of these areas.
New terms for financial reporting were negotiated that will help the Province scrutinize costs and challenge business management decisions.
The RCMP will align its financial planning and reporting with B.C. municipalities' five-year planning requirements.
The RCMP will make improvements in transparency, breaking out all of the cost items, so the Province can effectively determine whether or not British Columbians are getting value for money.
The Province also has the power to initiate independent reviews of RCMP programs, and will be evaluating and challenging how programs are being delivered to ensure they are efficient and effective.
There is no change in the basic cost-sharing formula, however, the ability for municipalities to monitor and plan for costs will be substantially improved.
- In B.C., rural and unincorporated areas are policed by the provincial force and the Province pays 70 per cent of the costs; the federal government pays the remaining 30 per cent.
- Small municipalities with a population of 5,000 to 15,000 will continue to pay 70 per cent of their contract costs, and municipalities over 15,000 will continue to pay 90 per cent. The remaining 30 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, is paid by the federal government.
Costs to municipalities:
- Throughout discussions with local government representatives, we have all acknowledged that increased costs are inevitable and that what is needed is more transparency and partnership in how those costs are dealt with.
- In the negotiations the Province was only willing to accept increased costs that came with legitimate partnership, more accountability, and clear mechanisms for cost control over time.
- We have agreed to some changes to basic costs and as a result municipalities' can expect their RCMP costs to increase by less than one per cent in the first year of the new agreement.
- A potential retroactive pay increase for RCMP members may be an outstanding cost from the current RCMP agreement.
Oversight on costs:
Through an enhanced Contract Management Committee (CMC), which now includes an associate municipal member, the Province will jointly oversee how the RCMP delivers police service and how our costs can be managed.
Under the new agreement, the federal government needs B.C.'s support before they can initiate any changes to the RCMP that will impact our costs and the quality of service we receive. That means they need the Province's support before they:
- Adopt new security equipment,
- Make building improvements,
- Change administrative staffing levels, or
- Change policies or standards that impact how many police officers serve in our province.
Ministry of Justice