City councils across the province learned this month that they have no control over their police budgets.
That's because the Police Act allows municipal police boards to apply to the unelected director of police services to overrule elected politicians.
The director of police services is Wayne Rideout, a 34-year RCMP veteran who was appointed to this position last year.
After Vancouver city council froze the VPD's budget in 2021—after a significant fall in crime in 2020—the Vancouver police board invoked section 27(3) of the Police Act.
And Rideout approved the board's request to overturn council's decision, ordering the city to fork over an additional $5.7 million to the VPD.
Rideout was in news after legislature bomb plot
In 2013 as RCMP assistant commissioner, Rideout spoke at a news conference after the arrests of John Stuart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody.
The two accused had converted to Islam and were in custody in connection with an alleged plot to set off bombs at the B.C. legislature on Canada Day that year.
Rideout told reporters that the devices were "completely under our control".
That prompted a question about whether the Mounties were collaborators with the two suspects, who were later convicted.
“It’s very difficult to discuss the actual techniques,” Rideout said at the time. “I can say that as these devices were constructed, we were in very tight control.”
Three years later, a B.C. Supreme Court judge, Catherine Bruce, issued a stay of proceedings in the convictions of Nuttall and Korody due to the RCMP's conduct.
According to Bruce's decision, the RCMP actually "manufactured" the crimes.
"However, the actions of the police went far beyond presenting the defendants with an opportunity to commit an act of terrorism," Bruce declared in her ruling. "The police engaged in a multi-faceted and systematic manipulation of the defendants to induce them into committing a terrorist offence."
Moreover, the judge stated that the undercover police operation involved deceit that constituted an implied threat.
The decision noted that the officer who supervised the project, Supt. Daniel Bond, reported to Rideout and another senior Mountie at the local level, as well as to a senior officer at national headquarters.
Bruce pointed out that Cpl. Stephen Matheson "was concerned about putting ideas into Mr. Nuttall’s head and he balked at giving this direction to Officer A".
"It was only after the undercover shop learned that this direction came from A/Commr. Rideout that they complied," she wrote.