The executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association is advocating that B.C.’s solicitor general not renew the province’s contract with the RCMP for providing police services when it comes up for renewal in 2012.
“I think the reality is that if the province wants to grow up, in terms of independence from a central government, than having control of our own police department is probably a good investment,” David Eby said by phone.
Eby said the issue of the RCMP contract will be featured in discussions the BCCLA will initiate on a tour of various communities in the province later this summer, “so that we can truly be the B.C. Civil Liberties Association”.
Part of the reason for this is, according to Eby, because there is “no transparency” in negotiations between the RCMP and the solicitor general’s office in B.C.
“We’re going to be inviting people to provide their thoughts on the policing services that they receive in their community, so that we can provide that feedback back to the solicitor general’s office and to the RCMP, so that can be negotiated into the contract negotiations,” Eby said.
Eby argued that, while the provincial government in B.C. is of the opinion it is cheaper to contract out policing than to provide the services itself, “there is a reason why it is cheaper”.
“The reason is that the provincial government is ceding control over policing to the federal government,” he said. “When you pay less, there is a reason why Ottawa wants it. Ottawa wants to maintain control as much as possible.”
The BCCLA talks around B.C. kick off in late August.