Esquimalt concerned over cost of police recommendations

Coun. Hundleby left ‘disillusioned’ after previous review brought little change

Esquimalt councillors will spend the summer mulling over how to best proceed in the ongoing dispute to stick with Victoria police services, after residents weighed in on the township’s consideration of legal action against the province.

A special council meeting was held Monday night to allow public input into a mediator’s report on the matter released last month. Its findings, accepted by the Ministry of Justice, went against Esquimalt’s own police advisory panel recommendation that the municipality switch to RCMP services as a cost-saving measure. Only Victoria pays more per resident for police services in the Capital Regional District.

The most contentious issue is identifying who will pay to implement the report’s 43 recommendations and ultimately, how a lack of compliance, either by Victoria or Esquimalt, would be enforced.

“There’s no hammer, nothing to force anybody to do anything,” said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

She said she was disillusioned after a 2010 audit of the Victoria Police Board failed to improve the working relationship between the two municipalities on the topic.

“The audit addressed our concerns, but nothing was done about it; it was dismissed. I get the feeling that we’ve been dismissed all along,” Hundleby said.

The township spent an estimated $300,000 compiling its rejected report, leaving councillors hesitant to take expensive legal action against the province.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the mediator’s report contains several recommendations that would be expensive to implement, such as a CRD working group, intended to help create cost-sharing measures on regional policing concerns.

“VicPD have tried valiantly to create discussion for a more regionalized approach,” Desjardins told council Monday.

In a statement, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson wrote that the province would provide the “necessary support and resources” to implement the recommendations, including funding for a facilitator and “providing training to police board members to enhance and strengthen governance.”

Esquimalt council plans to revisit the issue at its Aug. 13 meeting.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich ‘inside cat’ comes home two weeks later, two pounds lighter

The only one not excited about the return of Arthur, is the… Continue reading

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read