WHEREAS the Police Act and Police Amendment Act provide that small and rural communities served by the RCMP under the Provincial Police Service Agreement will be represented on a provincial board that will make recommendations on province-wide policing priorities; and
WHEREAS the Alberta Interim Police Advisory Board (AIPAB) was created in 2020 to provide recommendations towards the implementation of an operational board to replace the interim board; and
WHEREAS on January 29, 2021, the AIPAB provided the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General with recommendations for the new Provincial Police Advisory Board’s recruitment, governance structure and term; and
WHEREAS on December 22, 2021, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General acknowledged the intent to collaborate with AIPAB to establish the board, proposing a governance structure that aligns with a four-year term, consistent with the Police Funding Regulation expiring on March 31, 2025; and
WHEREAS to date, the Government of Alberta has not implemented the operational Provincial Police Advisory Board;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate to the Government of Alberta to implement the operational Provincial Police Advisory Board to ensure small and rural communities served by the RCMP under the Provincial Police Service Agreement are equally and fairly represented.
The Police Funding Regulation (PFR) under the Police Act (PA) requires that every municipality be invoiced for RCMP policing services as per a cost formula described in the Regulation. More recently, changes to the PA came with a commitment from the Government of Alberta to establish measures to enhance police transparency, accountability and civilian involvement and to establish a provincial police advisory board to represent small and rural communities served under the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA).
Subsequently, the PA was amended by the Police Amendment Act, 2022 (PAA). A key reform under this legislation is for greater collaboration with communities by mandating police to develop community safety plans and report annually on their progress (PAA Section 31(1)).
Another key reform in the legislation is enhanced civilian governance capabilities with the creation of formal governance bodies for all communities. Large communities served by the RCMP under a Municipal Police Service Agreement are represented by committees or commissions. Small and rural communities served under PPSA are represented by a new operational board, the Provincial Police Advisory Board (PAA Section 28.01).
To prepare for these legislative changes, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General established an interim board in 2020, called the Alberta Police Interim Advisory Board (APIAB) which was made up of members from the Alberta Association of Police Governance, Alberta Municipalities (formerly Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) and Rural Municipalities of Alberta, to represent municipalities served under the PPSA. The APIAB’s mandate was to provide a report with recommendations on provincial policing priorities, RCMP ‘K’ Division multi-year financial plan, and a governance structure and scope for the new operational board by January 31, 2021.
Upon receipt of the completed report, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General indicated the intent for the ministry to work with the AIPAB to implement the operational board within the context of the Minister’s governance decisions. As noted in the Minister’s correspondence, AR48941, “…the operational board would be in place for a four-year term to align with the five-year period of the Police Funding Regulation (PFR). The interim and operational board were intended to be in place during the same five-year period as the PFR, and to have the board’s purpose and existence reviewed along with the police funding model and other PFR provisions prior to the end of the PFR five- year term.”
The PFR is set to expire March 31, 2025, and yet, to date, this intent has not been filled.
While Clearwater County certainly applauds the province’s efforts to date, we strongly encourage the Government of Alberta to move forward with establishing the Provincial Police Advisory Board without delay.
Click here to view the APIAB report and the Minister’s associated correspondence.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.