WHEREAS the majority of rural municipalities support the continuation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as Alberta’s primary municipal police service provider; and
WHEREAS Alberta had its own provincial police service in the early twentieth century; and
WHEREAS Alberta’s previous provincial police service was replaced by RCMP contract policing due to economic hardships experienced in the province resulting in the provincial police service becoming unsustainable; and
WHEREAS RCMP detachments are established and well respected in communities across Alberta; and
WHEREAS municipalities should not face increased costs to support the shift to a provincial police service; and
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has not released a detailed funding model to account for who will be covering the costs of transitioning to an Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS) or the operation of the service; and
WHEREAS support for the Alberta RCMP has held strong in ongoing surveys over the past year despite the heavy politicization on the issue; and
WHEREAS creating a provincial police service remains very low priority for Albertans, with one recent public survey reporting 70% opposition to the replacement of the RCMP and 80% satisfaction with current RCMP policing; and
WHEREAS the APPS Transition Study, developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Government of Alberta, does not include statistics, surveys conducted, or any evidence of engagement with municipalities, citizens, or specific communities; and
WHEREAS the APPS Transition Study cost over two million dollars, which is ultimately paid for by the Alberta taxpayers;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request that the Government of Alberta not create an Alberta Provincial Police Service.
The Government of Alberta has moved quickly on the Fair Deal Panel’s (FDP) recommendation of creating an Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS). The Panel’s report was released in May of 2020 and later in the year, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was selected to conduct the APPS Transition Study. The Transition Study was slated to be released by April 2021 but was not released to the public until the end of October, six months later.
Dozens of municipalities have opposed the creation of an APPS, as evidenced by letters sent to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General expressing their concerns over having to bear the cost of the APPS with no assurance of it being a more beneficial police service. Rather than replacing the RCMP, rural Albertans are more concerned about the “revolving door” of crime and would like to see improvements made to the provincial justice system, social safety nets, and to have poverty and addictions issues addressed. The FDP conducted polls and surveys regarding its recommendations and found that creating an APPS was ranked second last in terms of priority among all issues they were considering.
The PwC transitional study shows that creating an APPS will cost Albertans more than $188.3 million per year in lost federal contributions with a transition cost of over $366 million while getting less fully trained officers than the RCMP.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.