Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender says negotiations are complete, an agreement for continuing the RCMP role in British Columbia is done. Attorney General Shirley Bond – the person who promised to slash top salaries at BC Ferries – agrees progress has been made but says negotiators are still working on resolving issues.
I’m told the remaining impediment is that British Columbia wants the RCMP to handle police complaints more expeditiously. In the past, serious cases have dragged on unresolved for years after citizens raise issues of RCMP misconduct. Shirley Bond hopes the RCMP will shorten the time it takes to absolve police officers accused of wrongdoing. She said,
We want the complaint process to operate more quickly and more efficiently. Two years is plenty of time to impugn accusers and close internal inquiry files. There’s no point in dragging out a process and leaving officers sidelined on paid leave for years when, from the beginning, everyone knows the outcome.
Really though, do we need all the theatre that has been served up with this alleged negotiation? One would be brain deficient to think the outcome is not already determined. In 2010, the BC Finance Ministry completed an audit of RCMP services but they refuse to make it public. A little bit of knowledge, it seems, is a dangerous thing and Liberals prefer voters stay uninformed.
BC Civil Rights Association President Robert Holmes said this,
The Solicitor General is stonewalling the public and the Legislature by not putting forth this audit. It is required by law that transparency and accountability exist for proposed major expenditures like the RCMP contract being negotiated. Her bureaucrats may think that democratic government is inconvenient, but the public is entitled to the information and it is an affront to democracy for the Solicitor General to sit on the report. …No justification for delay has been offered and none exists.
The strongest clue that policing would continue as before is the construction of a massive new E-Division headquarters in Surrey’s Green Timbers Urban Forest Park. The facility will house almost 3,000 police personnel in about 1-million sq. ft. As part of the federal government’s green strategy to encourage use of public transit, parking at the facility will be limited to 2,000 spaces.
The project is being constructed for the Harper Government through a P3 led by French conglomerate Bouygues S.A with financing by British Bank HSBC.
Construction on the $1-billion headquarters started in 2010 while provincial and federal politicians were involved in the Kabuki dance, pretending that something material might change in British Columbia’s policing.