The province says that police costs are municipal costs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff )

Police funding a municipal problem, province tells Victoria

Ministry suggest amalgamation to help with police expenditures

The City of Victoria won’t be seeing any funds for policing from the Province, after a letter declared that police issues were a municipal responsibility.

In December, the City wrote to the province asking for assistance in policing the core area of the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, penned a response in February, reminding the city that as a larger municipality, it holds its own responsibilities for funding.

ALSO READ: Victoria councillors want less criticism from VicPD in exchange for budget approval

“The provincial government provides policing and law enforcement to CRD municipalities and incorporated areas under 5,000 population,” Farnworth said.

“As a co-chair of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board you will well know that , under sections 3.2 and 15.1 of the [B.C. Police] Act, municipalities with population exceeding 5,000 are wholly responsible for their police and law enforcement services.”

The request comes after the city struggled once again to devise a proper policing budget for its joint police force between Victoria and Esquimalt.

This year VicPD requested a $2.5 million increase for 2020 from Victoria, bringing its total up to $58,241,090.00.

Chief Const. Del Manak says this sum is not enough to keep up with increasing crime and policing expenditures.

READ MORE: Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

Farnworth further suggested that the city consider amalgamating with other municipalities for more efficient police coverage.

“I welcome the opportunity to consider any proposals presented jointly by the municipalities involved,” Farnworth said.

“As it pertains to consolidation of command and coordination of police services in the CRD, ministry resources were committed to support collaboration and consultation between the municipalities and police agencies and devise a governance structure for integrated policing teams that serve the region.”

Victoria and Esquimalt amalgamated their police forces in 2003.

Presently, the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich are taking the first steps towards consolidating municipalities by creating a citizen’s assembly task force to study amalgamation.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she wasn’t surprised by Farnworth’s response.

“He has been very clear in his message to us. If we want regional policing it has to come from local governments, not the province,” Helps said. “I don’t think there’s anything further to do. The Citizens’ Assembly between Saanich and Victoria may come up with some recommendations in regards to emergency services, or it may not. We’ll see.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

budgetCity of VictoriaVicPDVictoria Police Department

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Metchosin bird card project finds its wings

On display at Metchosin ArtPod from July 10 to 12

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Walk for Peace takes a virtual turn for Victoria Hospice

Residents can still register for Gordy Dodd’s 11th annual fundraiser

United Way Greater Victoria launches Hi Neighbour program in Esquimalt

Feedback sought from residents about funding for micro community projects

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read