The Government of Saskatchewan does not support the resolution to replace the RCMP with a provincial police service. In the Government of Saskatchewan`s Speech from the Throne last Wednesday, the province expressed its intention to consider the creation of a provincial police force. The government said it would “consider other measures to strengthen provincial autonomy” during the new Parliament, including the withdrawal of the Ottawa Corporate Tax Administration and “the creation of a provincial police force to complement local police forces and the RCMP.” The six-year contract includes an increase of 1.75 per cent per year, as well as market adjustments valued at 11.53 per cent to balance the wage gap between RCMP members and reservists and other police services, according to Public Safety Canada. “Territorial, provincial and municipal representatives have been regularly updated by the federal government with rcmp policing agreements through a departmental-level deputy committee that meets regularly to discuss new and emerging issues that may impact policing services provided by the RCMP,” PSC spokeswoman Magali Deussing wrote in an email. “Contract administrations were aware that the salaries of RCMP public servants had been frozen since 2016 and that the collective bargaining process had begun in 2020. With the new collective agreement for full members and RCMP reservists, salaries are in line with those of other police services across Canada. It is just for regular members and reservists, as well as for Canadian taxpayers. At the time of the Provincial Force, the RCMP – a merger of the North-West Mounted Police and the Dominion Police – enforced federal laws throughout the province. But when the provincial forces were ousted, the RCMP took over all policing functions in Saskatchewan. Warman Mayor Gary Philipchuk has sent a letter to federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair about the new agreement, which will result in an increase of more than 21.5 per cent in the city`s RCMP police budget. Christine Tell, the provincial minister of law enforcement, police and public safety, told reporters Wednesday that there were no plans to examine or study the cost and effectiveness of a provincial police service in Saskatchewan at the time. Meanwhile, Tell said the provincial government respects the RCMP and will continue to work with them at that time.
When it comes to saving money, the provinces pay 70 per cent of the RCMP`s costs, while the federal government covers the other 30, so Huey said the province needs to make a strong and transparent statement — as well as an independent review — on how it would save money by creating a provincial police. “Remote rural communities don`t necessarily get the services they want, but they don`t get them because your government doesn`t pay for it,” she said. “In the 1920s, these liquor laws were very unpopular, and the fact that the Saskatchewan provincial police had to enforce them made them very unpopular. It`s actually a losing battle. “They thought it would only be a pain to try to enforce prohibition in the province of Saskatchewan. The provincial government has therefore taken this opportunity to create a separate and distinct provincial police force,” said Mr. Waiser. Rural communities that do not have a direct contract with the RCMP pay levies for RCMP services.
The provincial police are also not exempt from service issues or scandals, Huey said. He cited examples of Lumsden, which could face an increase in the police budget of about $28,000, Meadow Lake could face a blow of about $500,000 and Yorkton could see a potential increase in the police budget of $1.4 million. In Saskatchewan, the provincial government administers the Provincial Policing Agreement, which provides services to the RCMP to municipalities with a population of less than 5,000. Provincial spokesman Noel Busse said the province is reviewing the impact of the new collective agreement and is in talks with Public Safety Canada and the RCMP. There is no timetable for the conclusion of the discussions. Christine Tell, provincial minister of law enforcement, police and public safety, told reporters last week that the government was “paying attention” to what is happening in Alberta and Nova Scotia, both of which have openly discussed the creation of a provincial police service due to rising RCMP costs and service delivery issues. Warman was unable to bear significant costs arising from the deal, he wrote. When asked if it could be a political step to talk about the creation of a provincial police force, Huey replied, “Maybe. It wouldn`t be the first time I`ve seen this kind of announcement,” noting that the discussion often calms down once the dust settles. Attorney General Kaycee Madu said a provincial police force would be more efficient and cost-effective if it relied on support services from the Government of Alberta.
Most of the ministries were located in northern Saskatchewan, where police also enforced gambling laws. Provincial governments negotiate service agreements with the RCMP, huey said, so if the Saskatchewan government is not satisfied with the service received, it can renegotiate the service contract with the RCMP bargaining unit. “We want to make sure that the people of Saskatchewan get the best police service possible, whether it`s a new police service in the province of Saskatchewan or the RCMP, whatever it will be,” Tell said. .