Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter says continued consultation between the province, the public, and municipalities is crucial when it comes to any potential movement on the proposed provincial police force.
Potter says following The Rural Municipalities of Alberta sending a letter Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General opposing the creation of an Alberta Provincial Police Service, the need for further talks is obvious. She says one contentious part of the proposal remains just how it could cost municipalities in the long run.
“The province has promised there will be no increased costs to municipalities beyond what we are already paying, but we haven’t seen any numbers to support that,” she says.
“It will be a huge increase in cost to the province because we lose federal funding, and so there is a huge increase to the province… and how long that will last, I think there is a lot of skepticism around that.”
Potter says while the relationship between the Town of Sexsmith and the RCMP wasn’t always what she calls “fantastic”, she says there has been a noticeable increase in visibility and relationship since provincial force discussions began. She adds discussions between the County of Grande Prairie and the RCMP for a potential new catchment in the region, which could make an even greater impact.
“Response times are always a concern when the city is where our detachment is located, even though it’s rural,” she says.
“The County of Grande Prairie is working towards bringing one to Clairmont, which we would 100 per cent support, that is super beneficial for us,” she adds.