Alberta Municipalities’ Response to Study on Provincial Police Service

Last month, the Government of Alberta released the full PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) feasibility study on an independent provincial police service.

When the new RCMP collective bargaining agreement and other organizational factors are taken into account, PwC estimates current RCMP policing costs at $783 million annually, with the province receiving around $188 million in federal subsidies. The study concludes that an Alberta Provincial Police Service could have lower annual policing costs (between $734 million and $759 million) to deliver equivalent services, but it does not identify how the province would find additional funding to compensate for the loss of federal subsidies. Furthermore, the study does not recommend whether or not the province should establish a provincial police service, nor does it specify what the funding model for this service would look like.

After reviewing the study, Alberta Municipalities sent a letter to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General asking for responses to the following questions:

  • What would the funding model for a provincial police service look like?
  • How does the province plan to cover the $188 million shortfall in police funding resulting from the loss of federal subsidies for employing the RCMP?
  • How would a provincial police service be responsive and accountable to municipal governments?
  • The Premier committed to holding a referendum on this issue. When can we expect the referendum to take place?

We are conducting more in-depth analysis of the study this winter, and we will hold a member engagement event on Friday, January 21, at 10 a.m. to share the results of our analysis and hear your feedback on next steps.

The provincial government also plans to consult with municipalities this winter, so keep an eye on Digest for upcoming engagement opportunities!