RCMP services for P.E.I. municipalities set to increase 5%
'Five per cent is not a small chunk of change,' says Bruce MacDougall
The president of the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities says the hike for RCMP services to Island municipalities is substantial.
Municipalities with an extended service agreement with the province found out Monday there would be a five per cent increase in the cost of RCMP services in 2016.
Bruce MacDougall, who is also a councillor in Summerside, said this is significant for municipalities that are well into the budget process or have already passed their budgets.
"I am going to be asking for a meeting with the province and the affected municipalities to sit down with us and sort of justify where this increase is coming from. It is late in the game and five per cent is not a small chunk of change," said MacDougall.
He said the increase shows there needs to be a new revenue-sharing formula between municipalities and the P.E.I. government.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan said six communities on P.E.I. have extended service agreements for RCMP policing.
He said the municipality pays 70 per cent of the cost and the federal government pays the other thirty, which is administered by but not set by the province.
"We recognize that there is a concern that has been raised by the municipalities," MacLauchlan said.
"There are six municipalities that are affected by this and they would be pleased to meet with them to explain the cost drivers, as well as what might be an approach in future to the timing and the communication."
MacLauchlan said he was told the rising cost of pensions is the main reason for the increase.
However, an RCMP spokesperson said in a written release that "the RCMP is the service provider and all costing is based on a contract between the province and the municipalities."
Any questions about billing, the RCMP said, would need to be answered by the province.
The RCMP says the extended service agreements that some municipalities have with the province are over and above the RCMP's contract as the Provincial Police Service for P.E.I.