Our Ask of Albertans
We have been talking to Albertans, elected officials, and community leaders to hear their thoughts and ideas firsthand, and there is one thing we have heard loud and clear - Albertans want to keep the RCMP in Alberta.
Now is the time to take action! We strongly encourage Albertans to speak out against this expensive, unpopular, and politicized police transition by sending a letter to your local MLA, the Justice Minister, Premier, and UCP leadership hopefuls.
The Province of Alberta is proposing to replace the Alberta RCMP with a new provincial police service that will cost Albertans hundreds of millions more in transition costs, operational costs, and the loss of federal subsidies. Funds for this proposed transition would be far better spent addressing the priorities and concerns of Albertans by investing in the existing RCMP, criminal justice system, and healthcare and mental health supports.
1. Paying More for Less
The Government of Alberta (GoA) is proposing to replace the Alberta RCMP with an Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS) that would cost Albertans hundreds of millions more for fewer boots on the ground.
- The federal government pays 30% of Alberta’s RCMP policing costs – about $188 million annually.
- If Alberta were to replace the RCMP, Alberta taxpayers and municipalities would be on the hook for the full cost of provincial policing, plus transition costs that are currently estimated to be ~$371.5 million. Based on actual costs in other jurisdictions, this could double, triple, or worse.
- The province’s proposed police service model would also cost Alberta taxpayers $164 million more in operational costs than the existing Alberta RCMP every year. For the same investment, the Government could add 600+ new RCMP officers to serve Albertans.
2. Albertans Support the RCMP
An online survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights from July 6-19, 2022, shows that Albertans support the Alberta RCMP and do not support this expensive proposal:
- 84% want to keep the RCMP and only 9% of Albertans support this proposed transition.
- 72% agree that RCMP Members have a personal connection to the community they serve, and 70% agree that RCMP officers are accountable to their community.
- 90% want a detailed accounting of the full costs of transition before any decision is made.
In late June 2022, the Keep Alberta RCMP Campaign joined local supporters in signing a Call to Action which was sent to the Government of Alberta, to voice concern over continued efforts to advance the creation of an expensive new provincial police service. This list of supports continues to grow.
In 2021, the Government's own Fair Deal Panel surveys showed that Albertan's do not support the idea of a provincial police service with only 35% of Fair Deal Survey respondents supporting the idea, ranking it second last in terms of priorities.
3. Risks to Community Safety
A transition creates real risks to ongoing policing improvements, including proven-successful crime reduction strategies in rural and remote communities.
- Rural policing is complex and quickly evolving requiring officers to be fully trained for any possible event or issue in large areas with few neighbours and back-up.
- The Alberta RCMP dedicated 30 officers and 40 civilians to a Crime Reduction Strategy, which has led to a successful 10% decrease in crime rates for rural detachments and 6% for municipal detachments in 2018. An expensive, smaller, and disruptive new police force would put this progress at risk.
- From 2017 to 2019, public requests for police assistance in both emergency and non-urgent matters in Alberta have risen 24%.
- Collaboration among RCMP, Alberta Justice, and municipalities results in safe and effective policing that rural areas require.
Facts and Resources
The RCMP in Alberta
- RCMP Members in Alberta serve more than 1.7 million Albertans at the provincial, municipal, and federal levels through over 800,000 calls for service annually.
- 113 RCMP detachments serve over 300 communities and 22 First Nations.
A Safer Alberta Comes from Investing in the Alberta RCMP
- The $164 million that the Government is prepared to spend in additional costs annually could add over 600 additional RCMP Members for a total of over 3,700 RCMP Members across the province.
- With the Province’s proposed model, and without considering transition costs, only 56 new additional police officers would be added to Alberta’s communities.
- RCMP – Provincial police model comparison: Updated at-a-glance comparison between the current RCMP model and the proposed provincial police service model in Alberta.
- KeepAlbertaRCMP Discussion Guide: This guide contains all key information regarding the proposed provincial police transition provided at KeepAlbertaRCMP engagement sessions.
- KeepAlbertaRCMP Community Engagement Tour Final Report: This report contains what we heard during our province-wide tour.
- The RCMP: Alberta’s Provincial Police Service: Developed in 2021, this position paper outlines key information related to the Alberta RCMP, public opinion research, and the key priorities for criminal justice as identified by Albertans and elected officials.
- Alberta Provincial Police Services Agreement (PPSA): This document outlines the roles, responsibilities, and priorities for the RCMP in Alberta. Importantly, Articles 5 and 6 of the PPSA outline that the Alberta Minister of Justice sets the policing agenda and priorities for the province - not Ottawa.
Statement: Minister of Justice and Solicitor General’s Office Continues Misinformation Campaign Related to Unwanted Provincial Police Service Proposal
Edmonton, AB — Following is a statement from National Police Federation Regional Directors Kevin Halwa and Jeff McGowan, and Vice President Michelle Boutin, in response to a recent statement from Joseph Dow, Press Secretary for the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.Read more >
List of Alberta Call-to-Action Supporters Grows by Nearly 30 Percent Following Release of Proposed APPS Details
Edmonton, AB — The National Police Federation today released an updated list of 92 municipalities and other organizations from across Alberta that have signed a Call to Action, originally sent to the Government of Alberta in late June, which has seen a 30 percent growth since Justice Minister Tyler Shandro doubled down...Read more >
Following the UCP government's outline for a proposed provincial police service in Alberta, the National Police Federation reiterated the fact that many municipalities are opposed as shown in recent research conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights.Read more >