Edmonton, AB — As promised, the National Police Federation (NPF) today released its final report on its Keep Alberta RCMP community engagement tour held early this year, titled Your Police – Your Future: Listening to Albertans. In it, we outline the reason for broad engagement, who we spoke with, and the places we visited. Most importantly the report details what Albertans from across the province told us in response to the Government of Alberta’s proposal to replace the RCMP with a new provincial police service.
Through this engagement tour and the subsequent report recently submitted to Government, the NPF made sure that the Government of Alberta heard from as many Albertans as possible. Across 38 municipalities, five virtual sessions and over 1000 participants including Mayors, Reeves, Councillors, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and Members of Parliament, here are the key themes we heard:
- the majority of Albertans told us loud and clear that they do not want an expensive police transition to replace the RCMP with a new provincial police service
- the Government of Alberta should make priority investments aimed at improving the justice system, strengthening social services, and increasing police resources
- participants felt they had not been consulted by the Government and that targeted investments would bring better and more immediate results to addressing crime in their communities
“With this report now in the hands of Justice Minister Shandro and Premier Kenney, the ball is in their court on what to do next: listen to their voters, or push ahead with an unpopular and expensive transition,” said Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation. “Since wrapping up our tour, the Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE), and both of Alberta’s municipal associations – the Alberta Municipalities (ABmunis) and Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) have also separately voiced their concerns regarding a proposed new provincial police service, giving an even stronger voice to what we heard,” he added.
During these engagement sessions, two main issues continued to be raised: high costs and impacts to public safety.
“We know that improvements can be made within the current policing model in Alberta, and we support those priority investments, which are within the control and responsibility of the provincial government,” added Kevin Halwa, Prairie/North Region Director, National Police Federation. “Through our surveys and during discussions at our engagement sessions, Albertans told us they want to see quicker rural response times, increased resources for our Members, and a focus on fighting opioids and other harmful drugs that are on the rise within communities.”
Since the NPF launched its KeepAlbertaRCMP campaign, Albertans have sent more than 56,000 letters to Government opposing the transition.
“When the Government of Alberta released its APPS Transition Study in November 2021, it continued to assert that a majority of Albertans supported such a plan, but we heard firsthand just how much Albertans support the RCMP,” said Jeff McGowan, Prairie/North Region Director for the National Police Federation. “We’re glad that people took the time to ask questions, share their concerns, and came away better informed about what’s really at stake here.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations