New Brunswick is looking for more control over the RCMP as it renegotiates its contract with the national police force, according to a senior civil servant.


Provinces are seeking more transparency measures from the RCMP, according to a negotiator with the New Brunswick government.

New Brunswick has about 750 RCMP officers spread across the province, working in many communities.

The 20-year contract between New Brunswick and the federal government ends in 2012 and is currently being negotiated between Ottawa and the provinces.

Dick Isabelle, an assistant deputy minister at the Department of Public Safety, is negotiating the contract for the provincial government. Isabelle said eight provinces and the territories are all seeking more control over how the RCMP does its job in their jurisdictions.

Specifically, Isabelle said there is a push among the provinces for more transparency from the RCMP.

"Accountability for their members conduct, under a complaints commission type of approach," Isabelle said.

Isabelle said he is not sure what the federal negotiators response will be to that demand.

But he said New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed the issue when they met two weeks ago.

Moncton questions

The RCMP has been a source of intense debate in New Brunswick recently as Moncton's city politicians weighed the possibility of ditching the national police force.


Moncton city council voted on Monday to keep the RCMP as its police force but are pressuring the federal government for a 10 per cent subsidy, which is given to other communities who contract RCMP services. ((CBC))

While, the city council voted this week to keep the national police force, it did so only after undertaking months of review and public consultations on whether Moncton should replace the regional RCMP with either a Moncton-only RCMP detachment or revert to a municipal police force.

Moncton councillors had complained the city paid too much for the police force. So it struck a new cost-sharing agreement with the neighbouring communities of Riverview and Dieppe.

That deal did not end the city's financial headache with the RCMP.

Moncton is continuing to pressure the federal government for a 10 per cent subsidy.

Other communities that contract the RCMP to perform their police services get a 10 to 30 per cent rebate from Ottawa. However, Moncton has never secured those federal funds in the 12 years that RCMP officers have patrolled the city's streets.

The federal government froze all rebates just before Moncton switched over to the RCMP.

Isabelle said the provincial government is working hard to change that.

The assistant deputy minister said he has managed to convince the other provinces that Moncton is getting a raw deal from Ottawa.

"Absolutely, New Brunswick has been a very strong proponent for  completely revisiting that policy," Isabelle said.

"Indeed we have the support of all our provincial and territorial counterparts at the table."

Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe Liberal MP Brian Murphy said the federal government has to take the RCMP funding matter seriously after the city council voted to keep the national police force.

"We have a resolution of council saying they want the RCMP to stay. They want to be treated fairly and they want to be treated like other Canadians and that the federal government has not listened to that message for 12 years," Murphy said.