The Association that represents Counties and Municipal Districts in Alberta has made it official.
It's rejected a proposed plan to create a provincial police force, sending its report to the Solicitor General.
Premier Jason Kenney has promoted the idea based on feedback from the Fair Deal Panel, saying a provincial force would increase service levels in rural areas, decrease overall policing costs and increase local input into policing.
In part, the statement reads:
The proposed model leaves significant gaps in demonstrating how it will increase service levels in rural areas. While the proposed model recommends a specific number of officers and support staff, it does not address how these resources will be distributed. Additionally, the costs presented in the report are a product of assumptions and estimates, with limited explanation of the methodology used. Regardless, the report identifies an annual increase in provincial costs due to the transition as the 30% of provincial policing costs covered by the federal government would be lost. In addition, the transition cost of $366 million represents a significant unnecessary burden for Alberta taxpayers.
During local meetings, elected officials complained there were few answers provided to their questions about costs and how they'd be affected.
The RHA points out that public consultations have not taken place.
It says that's a concern since a 2021 Pollara Strategic Insights poll indicated that only 9% of Albertans believe the province needs to replace the RCMP with a provincial police force.
Rural Municipalities of Alberta says the model proposed by the UCP government also leaves gaps in how it would increase service levels in rural areas.
The group's members recently endorsed a resolution to continue supporting the RCMP.