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Mayor calls Provincial Police Force "not necessary"


B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond said Ottawa has given her an ultimatum, threatening  to withdraw the RCMP's service in B.C. if a new 20-year contract is not reached by next month. The current contract expires next year.

From Lantz's experience, he believes municipal governments around the province are satisfied with the RCMP's service, but are unhappy with the lack of accountability. Currently, the City of Fort St. John pays for 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP but Lantz argues they have virtually no say in decisions they make.

The City is able to sit down with Commanding Officer Pat Egan to discuss their "enforcement priorities", what they want the local detachment to focus on, and Lantz says they respond well to that. However, that's about where their influence stops.

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The problem lies higher up, when municipalities aren't consulted on decisions made in Ottawa.

Lantz uses the example of when a new computer system, PRIME, was brought in at a cost of $500 per officer. That cost doubled the following year, despite municipalities not being involved in the discussion.

Over the weekend, Lantz gave MP Bob Zimmer a letter to forward to people currently involved in the negotiations in Ottawa, calling for accountability and involvement in decisions.

"In what world would anyone pay 90 per cent of the cost of something without having input into how that money's being spent. That's just an anomaly as far as I'm concerned."

Time is running out to come up to renew the RCMP contract. If the two sides fail to come to an agreement, the federal government has said they will put the RCMP out of B.C. by 2014. That would give the province only two years to set up a police force, a task Lantz admits he would not want to be given.

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

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