Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo: Kevin Hill)

Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo: Kevin Hill)

Surrey RCMP doesn’t expect big hit in light of projected $10M cut in B.C. budget

Public safety minister says RCMP informed province about projected budget deficit

Surrey RCMP’s operating budgets “will not be touched” despite a projected $10-million cut for RCMP’s policing costs in B.C.

The RCMP must cut more than $10 million from its policing costs in B.C., as first reported by the Vancouver Sun after obtaining a copy of an email from the province’s top Mountie, Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan.

Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright said the detachment doesn’t know which portion of the budget is being cut.

“We don’t know if it’s going to affect anything that affects Surrey, whether it’s going to be the investigational or the training or something like that,” Wright told the Now-Leader, adding that he can’t speak to how the budget has been “trimmed.”

Under the City of Surrey’s current contract, the city pays 90 per cent of the RCMP’s costs and the federal government pays the remaining 10 per cent.

Late Thursday, director of B.C. RCMP communications Dawn Roberts emphasized that the cuts are still just a projection, and the first things on the chopping block are travel expenses, overtime, non-mandatory training, and new equipment.

That won’t be enough, however, she added, so senior officers will need to discuss options with the province.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible. We do not want to impact front-line policing operations,” Roberts told Black Press Media in a phone interview.

When asked whether integrated units could be affected, she said: “All of us are looking at our spending envelope and seeing whether or not we can make reductions.”

Integrated units would include the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit B.C., which are both run out of the BC RCMP’s headquarters in Surrey.

In a statement to Black Press Media on Thursday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the RCMP has informed the province about a projected budget deficit, and that the impact of budget constraints and inflation has become increasingly difficult to manage.

“This has not impacted significant and continued provincial and federal investments into gangs and organized crime initiatives and prevention,” he said, adding that that includes the integrated anti-gang team, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation, said he’s seen the internal email, and called the projected $10-million gap “deeply concerning.”

His main questions focus on how to maintain adequate levels of service and ensure staff receive enough down time. He said he’s seen mention of a “possible freeze” in staffing areas such as transfers and promotions.

However, Sauve said a lack of funding is nothing new.

“Whether it has to do with extra work or working harder to get the job done, they’ll still do it,” he told Black Press Media by phone.

The RCMP has not had union representation until now. The federation was finally certified as the official bargaining agent earlier this year following a historic court ruling in 2015.

Sauve said it will take time to influence budget and other negotiations, but he hopes to provide “the other side of the story” soon.

The Mounties’ B.C. division has not yet returned a request for comment.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

In this May 23, 2012, file photo, an approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington, Wash. A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Mulligan/The Daily Herald via AP
Cougar euthanized in B.C. after severely mauling a man north of Vancouver

Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read