A motion passed unanimously on Tuesday night to piggy back on a resolution from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that calls on Ottawa to pay 100 percent of the cost.
Something that has complicated things a little bit is that Mayors from some of the larger urban centers sent in their own letter asking for just 50 percent, including Prince George, something that Mayor Bob Simpson certainly didn’t understand.
“I would argue Prince George is in pretty significant financial trouble. Why they would give away 50 percent of a potential backstopping from the RCMP ? I don’t understand that logic.”
City Councillor Laurey Anne Roodenburg, also the President of the Union of BC Municipalities, says she believes Prince George has since back-peddled a little and has now sent a letter asking for 100 percent.
Quesnel has actually been putting aside some money for this just in case.
Director of Finance Kari Bolton.
“Each year we got a letter from the RCMP with an estimate of what they expected the accrued wages to be, so that’s what I accrued each year. But it turns out when they negotiated and finalized their contract it was substantially more than what we had been accruing.”
Mayor Simpson says getting this money from the federal government wouldn’t get them completely off the hook for increasing RCMP costs, but it would help.
“That’s the context is to support UBCM now, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in saying look the federal government should cover this one time cost. That wouldn’t get us off the hook, the one time back charge, that wouldn’t get us off the hook in terms of increasing RCMP costs, it was just offset costs that we are accruing year over year anyway.”
In August of last year, RCMP members ratified a six-year deal which included a wage increase of almost 24 percent.
It is retroactive to 2017.