Ottawa, ON — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding Alberta’s 2021-22 Budget:
“Today, Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews delivered the Government of Alberta’s Budget for 2021, highlighting ongoing fiscal challenges due in large part to the global health pandemic.
In 2020, Alberta’s provincial deficit rang in at $6.8 billion and the province had plans to reboot the provincial economy through lower taxes and economic stimulation. This year, the effects of a global pandemic have left Alberta with an $18.2 billion deficit, and a plan of across-the-board cuts and increased borrowing to cover annual expenses.
It’s against this backdrop that the National Police Federation is reminding Albertans that now is not the time to spend hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars by experimenting with a costly new provincial police service.
Alberta is currently receiving a 30% “discount” in policing costs due to RCMP transfer payments from Ottawa. Transitioning away from the RCMP would mean an end to that $160 million annual subsidy. In addition to this expense, Albertan taxpayers would be on the hook for significant and lasting transition costs. The result would be Albertans paying more for less, with a more expensive and less integrated police force.
With roughly 3,500 RCMP Members working and raising their families in communities across the province, the NPF is fully committed to serving Albertans. Our Members have deep personal, family, and social connections to the communities they serve. Working within provincial oversight, our Members have helped to achieve a 10% reduction in rural crime rates in the last three years, despite flat funding and increased demand.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 front-line RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.