Provincial Policing Costs
Res #: 30-01A
Responses Received: No
Resolution No. 30.1-01A
WHEREAS, policing was funded by the federal and provincial government prior to 1999 with no funding required by rural municipalities; and
WHEREAS, the responsibility of policing in Canada and the province should be the responsibility of our senior government; and WHEREAS, municipalities do not receive revenue from fines, etc; and
WHEREAS, the federal and provincial governments have achieved very large surpluses,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, we request that federal and provincial governments be responsible for all policing costs in the province.
Response from Hon. Chris Axthworthy:
Since the time of early settlement, Saskatchewan cities and towns have been required to provide and pay for their own police services. This reflects a long established principle in democratic countries that municipalities should have control over their policing where they are large enough to provide viable services. Smaller villages, hamlets, Indian Reserves, Rural Municipalities and the north are governments. The RCMP contracts are cost-shared with the federal government.
In 2001/02, the federal and provincial governments will spend $112 million for RCMP provincial policing services in Saskatchewan. The policing levy being paid by rural municipalities since 1999 does not pay for provincial policing, it is used to off set the municipal policing costs for small towns that use the RCMP. Before 1999, urban municipalities between 500 and 5000 people were paying a total of $12 million a year for RCMP services. Under the RCMP Cost Redistribution Program, one third of this cost is off-set by payments from rural municipalities and urban municipalities under 500 people.
The Task Force on Policing and the Administration of Justice will be considering changes to the formula, but RCMP costs are increasing like most other costs, and rural municipalities should not expect to see these costs decreasing in the immediate future.