Esquimalt concerned over cost of police recommendations

Coun. Hundleby left ‘disillusioned’ after previous review brought little change

Esquimalt councillors will spend the summer mulling over how to best proceed in the ongoing dispute to stick with Victoria police services, after residents weighed in on the township’s consideration of legal action against the province.

A special council meeting was held Monday night to allow public input into a mediator’s report on the matter released last month. Its findings, accepted by the Ministry of Justice, went against Esquimalt’s own police advisory panel recommendation that the municipality switch to RCMP services as a cost-saving measure. Only Victoria pays more per resident for police services in the Capital Regional District.

The most contentious issue is identifying who will pay to implement the report’s 43 recommendations and ultimately, how a lack of compliance, either by Victoria or Esquimalt, would be enforced.

“There’s no hammer, nothing to force anybody to do anything,” said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

She said she was disillusioned after a 2010 audit of the Victoria Police Board failed to improve the working relationship between the two municipalities on the topic.

“The audit addressed our concerns, but nothing was done about it; it was dismissed. I get the feeling that we’ve been dismissed all along,” Hundleby said.

The township spent an estimated $300,000 compiling its rejected report, leaving councillors hesitant to take expensive legal action against the province.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the mediator’s report contains several recommendations that would be expensive to implement, such as a CRD working group, intended to help create cost-sharing measures on regional policing concerns.

“VicPD have tried valiantly to create discussion for a more regionalized approach,” Desjardins told council Monday.

In a statement, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson wrote that the province would provide the “necessary support and resources” to implement the recommendations, including funding for a facilitator and “providing training to police board members to enhance and strengthen governance.”

Esquimalt council plans to revisit the issue at its Aug. 13 meeting.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read