November 14, 2022
Edmonton, AB – Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation (NPF), regarding the release of provincial mandate letters about the future of policing in Alberta:“Ministerial mandate letters released late last week reveal that Premier Danielle Smith has directed both her Minister of Justice, Tyler Shandro, and her Minister of Public Safety, Mike Ellis, to pursue a costly and unnecessary decision on establishing a provincial police service.
Although Premier Smith championed how this government values its relationships with rural municipalities and local MLAs in her recent address to the Rural Municipalities Association of Alberta, she continues to push this transition based purely on political reasons in her fight with the federal government.
In addition, despite the UCP government continuing to say that no decision will be made without meaningful public consultation, to date, the Government has only consulted municipalities and has not held an Alberta-wide public consultation. They have also continuously failed to provide answers to critical questions that will have a profound impact on Alberta taxpayers, who will be on the hook for $550+ million in transition costs and lost federal contributions, alongside projected increased operational costs of $160+ million per year, while doing little to improve public safety in Alberta. The Government’s own report shows exorbitant cost increases, and many are still unaccounted for according to the report.
In the face of rising inflation, an affordability crisis, an uncertain economic future, and notable challenges in healthcare, mental health, and addiction supports, it’s unclear to many Albertans as to why this purely political proposal continues to move forward. Funding this costly endeavor also means that the province will be forced to take money from other critically needed services. In May 2020, the Fair Deal Panel’s own findings established that a police transition was at the bottom of priorities for Albertans, ranking second last, identifying it as one of the least effective ways Albertans saw the province improving its standing in confederation. Multiple waves of public polling have consistently shown the overwhelming majority of Albertans support their RCMP officers and do not support the idea of transitioning to a new provincial police service. According to the latest round of polling conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights in July 2022, 84% of Albertans want to keep the RCMP and only 9% support this proposed transition.
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 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 focusing 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.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations