Decision imminent on Esquimalt’s policing fate: Minister Bond

Frustrations have mounted in year-long wait for decision

Esquimalt will soon learn whether it will be allowed to contract RCMP services, or told to stay with the Victoria Police Department.

“We are in the final stages of discussions with Victoria and Esquimalt,” Minister of Justice Shirley Bond told the News. “I can assure you this process will be completed soon, and we will be in a position to release the mediator’s report and announce a policing plan shortly.”

She did not say when her decision would be made public.

Esquimalt’s policing and law enforcement advisory panel hoped to hear back late last year, after it submitted its RCMP recommendation to Bond’s office in June 2011.

Instead, the province called for a third-party mediator to review the funding, governance and dispute-resolution issues plaguing the Victoria Police Board. That report was submitted in late January and presented to board members in recent months.

“(That report has) been confused as a solution (for the) long term,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, chair of the township’s police panel.

The panel is advocating for more control of its policing costs and to be consulted on the style of policing delivered in the community.

“When you have an amalgamated force where you have (several) times the amount of population in one community versus the other, you cannot have an equitable say in how and where and when (policing is delivered).”

Residents are more than ready for any decision.

(They’re) at a point where, ‘let’s just make a decision and move on,'” said Nick Kovacs, co-chair of the Esquimalt Residents Association. “(Residents) feel like the position has been debated to death.”

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, who chairs the Victoria Police Board, declined to comment.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich Mayor says ‘no costs asked of municipality’ for proposed film studio

Mayor Fred Haynes made that comment after questions from watchdog group

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

Police seek witnesses after man assaulted at Central Saanich bus stop

Man found Saturday on Keating X Road remains in serious condition at Victoria General Hospital

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read