Edmonton, AB — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the results from yesterday evening’s UCP Leadership election.
“Last night, members of the United Conservative Party elected a new leader, Danielle Smith, who now becomes Premier Designate but who has also signaled that her government might replace the Alberta RCMP with an Alberta provincial police service.
While she will formally replace current Premier Jason Kenney, who announced his resignation in May due to low confidence among party Members and Albertans generally, she does not have a formal mandate from Albertans who will choose their next government and Premier through the provincial election this coming spring.
This is very much a temporary government, and little can be accomplished before the next election.
One of Premier Designate Smith’s many complex and indoctrinated campaign promises was to establish an Alberta provincial police service. In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer costs this would trigger, any provincial police transition would take years, economic and actual feasibility studies, in addition to fully costed models.
To signal such a transition, under the current Provincial Police Service Agreement, a province must provide two years’ notice as of March 31 of any given year. In the meantime, the Alberta RCMP remains the province’s provincial police service operating under a policing mandate agreed to by both the provincial government and the Alberta RCMP Commanding Officer.
Importantly, this notice can be rescinded by future governments so there is a very long road ahead before any intent to transition should be considered credible.
Consecutive third-party surveys conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights have consistently shown that ~85% of Albertans want to retain the Alberta RCMP as their provincial police service. Additionally, 97 municipalities have signed on to abandon the unwanted and politicized proposed police transition. In addition, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and Alberta Municipalities have both passed motions from their hundreds of members stating that they do not support the transition plan by the province.
Through our KeepAlbertaRCMP campaign, we will continue to encourage the Province to abandon this unwanted proposal, listen to Albertans, and address their real concerns: fixing the justice system, investing in existing policing resources, and expanding critical social services Albertans care about most.”