To the editor:
The time has come for British Columbia to accept the fact we can’t afford the RCMP anymore because the federal government has again decreased their yearly grants and the provinces have to make up the tab.
The Mountie’s unique quality of uniforms and upkeep costs considerably more to maintain than a provincial police. Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador realized that situation many years ago and formed their own provincial forces to better meet the costs and needs of their province. I wonder if Ottawa is trying to tell us to do the same?
The cost of the colourful world famous Mountie’s uniform is only one reason for changing to a local provincial force.
This 4,000 mile wide country needs special and different services to cover our diversity. Since the federal government assists financially they also have a say in administration and law enforcements which is really best taken care by a local force.
Each province in Canada is uniquely different and we in British Columbia have a rich, colourful mosaic population including a water border which would be best serviced by a local force who know the pulse and situations in each municipality, town, village, city and island.
Having our own force would avoid the constant assistance, approval and orders from Ottawa. The city of Vernon and some political parties in Alberta have been voicing the need for provincial forces for many years as well.
Our proud world famous RCMP and their Musical Ride is a Canadian tradition and a custom that deserves to live on to eternity in our capital to represent Canada for all special occasions here and abroad.
The three eastern provinces have enjoyed their local police forces for many years and it is time we had the same freedom and privilege.
The 20-year contract with Ottawa ends at the end of November and we must act soon. It is unfortunate that Alberta and Saskatchewan have partly settled with Ottawa with a condition to include them for any benefits B.C. receives. Let’s hope our B.C. Attorney-General, Shirley Bond decides it is time for B.C. to go it alone and have our own provincial force like Ontario, Quebec and New Foundland/Labrador so Saskatchewan, Alberta and other provinces may join us as well.