The cash-strapped RCMP drew nearly $330,000 from its overtime budget in the hours and days following the Oct. 22 shootings in downtown Ottawa, document obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act reveal.
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The RCMP spent the money from Oct. 22-24 to cover staffing costs for local officers and those brought in from outside the capital to handle the stepped-up security on Parliament Hill and surrounding areas, the documents reveal.
An RCMP spokesman said the shooting incurred significant costs that the force will have to pay for from their own budget.
Rob Creasser, a spokesman for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, said the budget is stretched so thin already that the overtime bill will have an impact.
"That's robbing Peter to pay Paul. That means somewhere, somebody down the line isn't going to get a new piece of equipment or isn't going to get the resources they need to do their job," Creasser said. "It's an inadequate response."
The Ottawa Police Service faced an even larger overtime bill — about $375,000 — to pay their officers before the investigation was turned over to the RCMP.
"At the end of the day this is above and beyond what we can really contribute to that event," said Eli El-Chantiry, the chair of the police services board."In our situation, that is very important to us because, really, it comes from the heart of the organization when you talk about $375,000 — that's not small change."
In a letter dated Feb. 5, 2015, the Office of the Mayor of Ottawa asked the federal government to foot $375,000 bill.
"This was necessary but has created a budget pressure for the service as it was unplanned and significant," the letter said. "The nature of the events required the deployment of virtually all available sworn and civilian members for an 18-24 hour period and then an increased deployment for the days leading up to November 11."