Res #: 13-06A
Number: 13
Year: 2006
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

Resolution No. 13-06A

WHEREAS, there was no police levy for RCMP services in rural municipalities prior to 1999 and the levy has nearly doubled since its inception; and

WHEREAS, the increases in police levies have been relentless, exorbitant and without substantiation or justification; and

WHEREAS, the levy was imposed on rural municipalities by senior governments from a purely downloading motive; and WHEREAS, the national and provincial economies are now stronger than several years ago; and

WHEREAS, rural municipalities cannot in right conscience simply pass on the increase to rural landowners who are already stressed by the current agricultural economy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the SARM Board approach the applicable senior government officials to obtain a return to no policing levy for rural municipalities for RCMP services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the case that senior governments do not respond in the affirmative by reversing the downloading of policing levies or, as a minimum, provide some significant reversal from the current situation, the SARM Board promote a province-wide corrective action that can be supported by all rural municipalities in 2006 and beyond.

Response from Honourable Frank Quenell, Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General:

In 1995 the government, in partnership with representatives from SUMA and SARM, formed the SUMA/SARM Task Force on Policing and the Administration of Justice. The formation of the Task Force was a direct result of many municipalities asking for changes in the way police costs were recovered. The method at that time was viewed by many as unfair because urban municipalities with populations over 500 were faced with high policing costs while urban municipalities under 500 and rural municipalities were not required to pay for policing. The objective of the Task Force was to find an equitable and fair way to allocate RCMP municipal polic costs to relieve the financial burden some communities were facing. Over the following three years, the Task Force considered many options and agreed on the formula that was adopted by the government in 1999.

In establishing the pool, it was understood that the contributions from the participants would pay the entire costs for policing the communities in the pool. In examining the costs for 2004, community leaders expressed the view that a community with a detachment receives more benefits than a community without a detachment and that rates should be based on that factor. We were also told that the 500-population threshold should be eliminated from the formula. In order to eliminate the 500 population threshold, the per capita rates were reduced from four to two and a $20 differential between locations with detachments and those without was established in 2006. This change resulted in an increase to per capita rates for some locations and a reduction in others. With the 500-population threshold eliminated and the differential rate to now remain unchanged, I expect the per capita rate will increase only marginally in future years.

I have reviewed the 2006 RCMP per capita rates and I am satisfied that these amounts are fair and equitable. The following outlines various per capita amounts that were paid by municipalities over 5000 population in 2004 as outlined in the Canadian Center for Justice Statistics (Statistics Canada): Regina – $221 Saskatoon – $215 Prince Albert – $213 Moose Jaw – $185 Estevan – $218 Weyburn – $173 North Battleford – $178 Yorkton – $139 Lloydminister – $115 Swift Current – $95 Melfort – $96 Humboldt – $83 The Police Act outlines that all municipalities provided policing services by the RCMP are required to pay for policing. The established pool of costs for redistribution in 2006 is approximately $13.9 million.