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Northern Ont. towns anxious for new OPP costing model

Two communities in northwestern Ontario are responding very differently to a new costing model for policing now that the OPP is changing how it bills municipalities for its services starting next year.
The OPP is changing how it bills municipalities for its services, starting next year.

Two communities in northwestern Ontario are responding very differently to a new costing model for policing now that the OPP is changing how it bills municipalities for its services starting next year.

The mayor of Red Lake said the OPP are too expensive for his community. The current cost of policing is about $1,000 per household, the highest in Ontario.

Phil Vinet said a proposed change to how the cost is calculated could cut that charge in half.

Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet says the current cost of policing in his community is about $1,000 per household — and it's the highest in Ontario. (Supplied)

"This is the only billing model that introduces any elements of fairness,” he said.

“And to that end, we just want to be part of the province; we just want to be fair. This one size fits all model that had been in place since the 90's just doesn't work."

But not all communities are pleased with the changes.

In Shuniah, current policing costs are about $260 per household, and that rate would go up by at least a third.

"We don't want to expend costs if we don't have to, and we're trying to keep taxes down,” said Alana Bishop, a councillor in Shuniah.

“So, we are looking into the costs specifically of policing."

The OPP hopes to have a new billing model for policing in place by next year.

The billing model would set a base rate for all communities on a per-household basis, and would charge extra based on call-outs for service.

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