February 16, 2024

Victoria, B.C. – In anticipation of the 2024 British Columbia budget, the National Police Federation is releasing our pre-Budget asks to the Government of British Columbia, calling for strategic investments in additional B.C. RCMP Members to address the province’s increasing population and growing public safety concerns across the province.

The NPF has long been calling on the Province to adequately fund the B.C. RCMP and welcomed incremental additional provincial funding in 2022. 

Despite this, 242 positions remain unfunded in the Province to simply meet the authorized police strength of 2,602 set back in 2012. The population of British Columbia has experienced significant growth, nearly 20%, or 1 million residents, since 2012. On top of a rapidly increasing population, the mounting responsibilities placed on Members of the RCMP across the province continue to escalate while funding remains stagnant. Police are critical to affordability, health and overall well-being of people and communities in British Columbia.

The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s April 28, 2023, announcement related to policing in Surrey noted that these unfunded provincial vacancies may challenge public safety across the province. In that same announcement, the Minister announced funding of $150 million over five years for the City of Surrey’s policing.

“Although we welcome investments in public safety, this funding only benefits one city and is not available to the many other B.C. municipalities also facing public safety and resource challenges that can impact the local economy and well-being,” says NPF President Brian Sauvé. “RCMP recruitment efforts have been incredibly successful following the pandemic. We have many new RCMP Members looking to call British Columbia home, and increased funding across the province is crucial to ensure that British Columbia remains at the forefront in securing these new recruits.”

Fresh public opinion research conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights in December 2023 highlights that 76% of British Columbians in RCMP-served communities are satisfied with RCMP local policing.  

“Safer neighbourhoods allow for greater investments in housing, local business, and more importantly, they contribute to overall community and economic health” says Brian Sauvé. B.C. RCMP Members often find themselves the last line of support when healthcare and social services fail to meet the needs of our communities, and they require investments to continue to meet the growing demand and help address issues around mental health and addictions that British Columbians care deeply about.”  

The NPF is strongly recommending the following priority investments:

Invest $50 million over three years to increase resources, both human and financial, for the B.C. RCMP to strengthen its capacity to meet public safety needs across the province.

  • The NPF recommends allocating $50 million over three years to fund the remaining 242 unfunded vacant RCMP positions to bring the province to its 2012 authorized police strength levels. This allocation would benefit all municipalities in B.C. and address the Government’s broader provincial public safety concerns.

Invest $20 million over three years toward a one-time grant to municipalities to support the implementation of Police Committees with the goal of strengthening community safety and promoting good relationships between police services and communities.

  • Strong relationships between police services and the communities they serve are critical to maintaining public safety and effective community-based policing priorities.

Invest $80 million over two years to increase funding to social services and the continuum of care, including the police in B.C., to improve response to mental health, addictions, and other complex social issues.

  • Investing $80 million to expand IMCRTs to more locations across the province and integrating mental health professionals within 911 call centers is an immediate way the province can increase coordination and integration across police, health, mental health, and social services.
  • This includes expanding Mobile Crisis Response Teams and integrating mental health professionals within 911 call centers.

A copy of our Pre-Budget Submission is available here: https://npf-fpn.com/app/uploads/securepdfs/2024/02/National-Police-Federation-2024-BC-Pre-Budget-Submission-14062023-1.pdf

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) represents ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally. We are the largest police union in Canada. The NPF is focused on improving public safety for all Canadians, including our Members by advocating for much-needed investment in the public safety continuum. This includes investments in police resourcing and modern equipment, as well as social programs including health, addiction, and housing supports to enhance safety and livability in the many communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/

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