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Vancouver, Surrey voters elect new mayors; bring promises of more police, RCMP stays

daftandbarmy

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Oh I get that and have looked on in horror as entire mountaintops have been blasted flat.

The problem is: that actually did provide an outlet for reasonably affordable housing in the region.

If Langford is out of the game, Victoria, Colwood, View Royal, Esquimalt and Saanich will have to up their housing strategies.

What do you think the odds of that are?

I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that if they just try to avoid more debacles like the (buddy buddy deal initiated) new condo tower they will have to demolish, they might be able to do a little better with what they have.


The structural engineer of an ill-fated Langford high-rise was unqualified to design a project of that scope, according to Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

The investigative committee of Engineers and Geoscientists BC began an investigation into structural engineer Brian McClure after the 11-storey Danbrook One building in Langford had its residency permit revoked in December 2019.

Last week, the committee announced that it was imposing an interim practice restriction order on McClure because of safety failings during the building's construction.

 

SeaKingTacco

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I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that if they just try to avoid more debacles like the (buddy buddy deal initiated) new condo tower they will have to demolish, they might be able to do a little better with what they have.


The structural engineer of an ill-fated Langford high-rise was unqualified to design a project of that scope, according to Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

The investigative committee of Engineers and Geoscientists BC began an investigation into structural engineer Brian McClure after the 11-storey Danbrook One building in Langford had its residency permit revoked in December 2019.

Last week, the committee announced that it was imposing an interim practice restriction order on McClure because of safety failings during the building's construction.

I saw that and it is a problem.
 

brihard

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I am not saying what should/should not be done, but Surrey is one of the key Municipalities for policing in the Lower Mainland. If they make a hash of policing, it effects the entire GVRD (Maybe even the whole country, given the ports, railways, etc.).

If this goes messy, BC might have to step in.

And the province would, as they did when Vancouver was going to cut its police budget. The province bears responsibility to ensure that cities have effective policing, and the province can step in if it must. But whether that would extend to the province imposing a regional police service on a municipality that doesn’t want one is another matter.

The RCMP police municipalities in BC because they are also the “provincial police” in provincial law. The province could legislate an independent provincial police service to step into that role. That would be a very lengthy process though.

One way or another, I think Surrey is a bellweather for the future of RCMP contract policing over the next couple decades. Surrey has already provided some real tangible information on actual costs versus what politicians have claimed.
 

RangerRay

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Surrey has more than 150 officers on the road now, and more working office jobs. They’ve bought cars and guns. They have a collective agreement with one hell of a poison pill severance provision. There’s a lot already invested in this. It’s a city of more than 500k on paper, probably half again that with all the unofficial basement suites. Why should a city that size not have its own municipal police service?
British Columbia is definitely an anomaly in this regard. Whereas most cities and many small towns across the country have their own forces, I’ve always found it odd that the vast majority of municipalities in BC big and small use the RCMP. I am sure cost has something to do with it. There was a big push by the Province over 10 years ago to explore bringing back the BCPP when the RCMP’s contract was up, but the costs sunk that idea. I remember at the time, many of the provincial law enforcement agencies were angling for more powers and authorities so their agency would become the foundation of a new BCPP.

Regionalization was tried in Victoria. In the end, only Esquimalt merged with VicPD. Esquimalt quickly regretted it when all their former police units were sent downtown. Oak Bay, Saanich and Central Saanich saw that and said “No thanks!” I thought I heard that Esquimalt has since left VicPD, but maybe someone who knows better can educate me.
 

brihard

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British Columbia is definitely an anomaly in this regard. Whereas most cities and many small towns across the country have their own forces, I’ve always found it odd that the vast majority of municipalities in BC big and small use the RCMP. I am sure cost has something to do with it. There was a big push by the Province over 10 years ago to explore bringing back the BCPP when the RCMP’s contract was up, but the costs sunk that idea. I remember at the time, many of the provincial law enforcement agencies were angling for more powers and authorities so their agency would become the foundation of a new BCPP.

Regionalization was tried in Victoria. In the end, only Esquimalt merged with VicPD. Esquimalt quickly regretted it when all their former police units were sent downtown. Oak Bay, Saanich and Central Saanich saw that and said “No thanks!” I thought I heard that Esquimalt has since left VicPD, but maybe someone who knows better can educate me.
Esquimault is still a division of Victoria Police. That’s limited to Esquimault proper, though. Outside of the city (Langford, etc) is West Shore RCMP.
 

daftandbarmy

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Esquimault is still a division of Victoria Police. That’s limited to Esquimault proper, though. Outside of the city (Langford, etc) is West Shore RCMP.

And they're not happy about it, apparently.

 

Booter

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British Columbia is definitely an anomaly in this regard. Whereas most cities and many small towns across the country have their own forces, I’ve always found it odd that the vast majority of municipalities in BC big and small use the RCMP. I am sure cost has something to do with it. There was a big push by the Province over 10 years ago to explore bringing back the BCPP when the RCMP’s contract was up, but the costs sunk that idea. I remember at the time, many of the provincial law enforcement agencies were angling for more powers and authorities so their agency would become the foundation of a new BCPP.

Regionalization was tried in Victoria. In the end, only Esquimalt merged with VicPD. Esquimalt quickly regretted it when all their former police units were sent downtown. Oak Bay, Saanich and Central Saanich saw that and said “No thanks!” I thought I heard that Esquimalt has since left VicPD, but maybe someone who knows better can educate me.
These provinces that have these discussions all have WOEFULLY inadequate provincial agencies currently, the BC Sheriffs system is filled with guys trying to make a broken agency productive,

They want to wave a wand and create provincial forces in the media- meanwhile- the provincial non-police agencies in these places are completely neglected and backwards- unable to expand and take over their duties in totality- it’s ignorance and politics that makes them make such stupid statements while their home developed provincial agencies languish and make due.

They can’t manage a department of a couple hundred effectively but are so quick to imagineer solutions they don’t actually understand,

They have gorged on the cost savings of a one size fits all RCMP tasking- that they depend on to fill all their gaps and then shockingly they can’t actually divorce from the organization because they can’t get over their addiction to a Mountie as a quick solution to courts, or health, or filling gaps for conservation or the EMO office.
 

lenaitch

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And stomp on mayors and councils that do have functioning police services or effective RCMP detachments? That wouldn’t make much sense. I think regionalization of policing services would be a discussion that would need municipal buy-in rather than imposing it. They would have to make a compelling case that it would be a significant improvement over RCMP, and that it wouldn’t be more appropriate for there to be municipal services for the large municipalities.

Arguably, BC should consider a provincial police service for everything that’s not municipal. Basically, replace RCMP in non-federal roles. But the quiet prt that politicians don’t like to say out loud is that going with RCMP brings a direct, immediate, and considerable federal government subsidy that would be expensive to abandon.
I realize it is different times but that's exactly what Ontario did back in the 1970's under Bill Davis when it regionalized the suburbs in the GTA, as well as Hamilton, Niagara, Muskoka (sort of), Sudbury and Ottawa (initially into Ottawa-Carleton) and later Chatham-Kent. I don't recall a groundswell of municipal governments clamouring for any of this. Later governments pushed 'county restructuring' where larger numbers of local governments were amalgamated. Even more recently, the provincial government amalgamated Toronto into a single-tier government and later downsized its council. Seeing as it has spanned several governments, I don't know if that indicates the provincial government is more bold in overseeing its 'inefficient children', just views them as playthings or some other over-arching rationale.

Not wanting to get into a debate about local vs. contract policing, but there is probably a study or two out there that suggest a level at which locally managed services are indicated. It has to be more than simply 'city x is big so they deserve it'. Conversely, many proponents of provincial policing don't appreciate how costly it is, particularly for the far-flung, sparsely populated areas. They see taking on Mission or Kelowna but not Telegraph Creek.

For policing, Mike Harris in Ontario pretty much left it up to the municipalities; either do it yourself or contract somebody else (including the OPP) but set up the rules. Although I don't fully understand the details, Quebec went more prescriptive and laid out which municipalities had to maintain a Service and those that had to use the SQ.
 

RangerRay

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I also note that only two communities east of the Coast Mountains, Nelson (pop. ~10,000) and the Stlʼatlʼimx Tribal Police Service that serve the Stlʼatlʼimx indigenous people in the Lillooet/Mount Currie areas.
 

RangerRay

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Getting back to the civic election results, hopefully these changes in councils and mayors will see more grown-up thinking and management in city halls there.
 

daftandbarmy

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Getting back to the civic election results, hopefully these changes in councils and mayors will see more grown-up thinking and management in city halls there.

That's what Langford seems to be hoping for:

Young is credited with turning Langford into a regional powerhouse for housing and business development, and a sporting and recreational mecca. But he has been criticized for his close ties with local developers and for being curt and dismissive with members of the public expressing concerns at public hearings about mega-projects such as highrises in Langford’s downtown.

Langford Now said it isn’t against development, but wants to take the time to measure impacts on the residents.

 

Colin Parkinson

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For now I would review where the Surrey RCMP are weak in dealing with stuff and have the existing Surrey police focus on those areas. Perhaps schools, small gangs and community should be the SPS mandates. General street level and international threats are RCMP mandates?
 

lenaitch

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For now I would review where the Surrey RCMP are weak in dealing with stuff and have the existing Surrey police focus on those areas. Perhaps schools, small gangs and community should be the SPS mandates. General street level and international threats are RCMP mandates?
Having two concentric police services is astonishingly inefficient and a potential recipe for disaster. I can only assume there is a transition plan with one service growing and the other pulling back. They either need to continue with that or reverse it.
 

Kilted

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That pops up every now and again from Peel and I suppose not surprising in an election year. It's always over money in vs. benefits from the Region. It has bubbled up every now again in Chatham-Kent as well in terms of the imbalance between the larger city and surrounding smaller ones. Both Mississauga and Brampton are much, much bigger that when they were formed in the early '70s and maybe they could be viable on their own. They might want to be careful what they wish for; this provincial government could just as easily turn around and imposed a single-tier government for all three, or just the two and cut Caledon out of it. It has shown it is not averse to getting up to its elbows in municipal affairs.
I can see it now, the City of Brampton-Mississauga in a 1998 Toronto-type of way.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Having two concentric police services is astonishingly inefficient and a potential recipe for disaster. I can only assume there is a transition plan with one service growing and the other pulling back. They either need to continue with that or reverse it.
Maybe, but it is, what it is and since they currently have two police forces, get the smaller one to focus in on very local tasks and let the RCMP cover off general duties and federal mandate stuff. I know for a fact that the school resource officer program there is in dire need of bodies and you could use most of them just for that and combating youth gangs.
 

brihard

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Maybe, but it is, what it is and since they currently have two police forces, get the smaller one to focus in on very local tasks and let the RCMP cover off general duties and federal mandate stuff. I know for a fact that the school resource officer program there is in dire need of bodies and you could use most of them just for that and combating youth gangs.
Surrey RCMP detachment members don’t work federal stuff. There’s an entirely separate federal policing business line within RCMP for things like national security, transnational organized crime, and border enforcement. Separately, BC has integrated (RCMP + municipal) units for provincial level organized crime, traffic enforcement, etc. Surrey RCMP and Surrey Police Service fully overlap and are in the process of transitioning the one to the other. Both have constables and front line supervisors on the road, in some cases under each others’ supervision. The transition, so far as I can tell, is early into the messiest and most confusing part. @RedFive could probably enlighten us further.
 

RedFive

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Surrey RCMP detachment members don’t work federal stuff. There’s an entirely separate federal policing business line within RCMP for things like national security, transnational organized crime, and border enforcement. Separately, BC has integrated (RCMP + municipal) units for provincial level organized crime, traffic enforcement, etc. Surrey RCMP and Surrey Police Service fully overlap and are in the process of transitioning the one to the other. Both have constables and front line supervisors on the road, in some cases under each others’ supervision. The transition, so far as I can tell, is early into the messiest and most confusing part. @RedFive could probably enlighten us further.
It's a bloody mess is what I can say for sure. As far as where it goes from here, everything is speculation as the reversion to RCMP the new mayor wants hasn't been explored or implemented yet. Expect her to move fast on it though, one way or another.

Outcomes I can foresee:

1. SPS is stood down, and the RCMP takes "back" over. We never stopped being the Police of Jurisdiction, so many feel this is the most likely COA. Problem is the RCMP is critically short on members nation wide and Surrey Detachment is the biggest we have, staffing this will be a nightmare for the members still in Surrey. The plan is, as far as I know, to try and retain as many SPS members as will stay and start offering recruits from the Lower Mainland a guaranteed post back to the LMD.

2. The Province refuses to allow the City to back out of its Police force, and things move ahead. If that's the case, I have heard from SPS members that they feel once there is a decisive "this IS happening" there will be a flood of new hires of people who are interested in the move but not interested in the uncertainty. I've also heard from NPF (RCMP union) reps that if this is the case they're going to play hardball on getting RCMP members out ASAP, whether the City has its shit together or not. Obviously not to the point of jeopardizing public safety, but service levels would drop to painfully low levels.

3. Locke learns how much has been spent and how much it will cost to revert and begrudgingly moves ahead, while proposing a regional force with Langley Township and Langley City (Both RCMP). The SPS collective agreement says that laid off members will receive 18 months pay as severance, that's an awful lot of money.

All I can say is the overwhelming majority of "the troops" are pleased the city voted in favour of Locke, who has been adamantly pro-RCMP throughout this process. The previous Mayor was at best antagonistic to the RCMP and its membership, and I suspect there's an all around feeling of satisfaction watching him get turfed. However, there are concerns that this is just going to lead to more delay, shorter watches and limiting career moves. I can only speak for myself when I say I don't care who polices Surrey, I just want them to make up their damn minds so I can plan my next couple years and prepare to move on. Mobility was one of the biggest reasons I chose the RCMP and its looking like I may never leave my first post...
 

brihard

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2. The Province refuses to allow the City to back out of its Police force, and things move ahead. If that's the case, I have heard from SPS members that they feel once there is a decisive "this IS happening" there will be a flood of new hires of people who are interested in the move but not interested in the uncertainty. I've also heard from NPF (RCMP union) reps that if this is the case they're going to play hardball on getting RCMP members out ASAP, whether the City has its shit together or not. Obviously not to the point of jeopardizing public safety, but service levels would drop to painfully low levels.

NPF would be told to kick rocks. The province has legal authority to ensure adequate policing services, and would coordinate between RCMP and SPS to ensure the required minimums are there. NPF might be at the table as an observer and to offer input, but would have no power, any more than they do over any other staffing matters. Staffing / posting of members between RCMP detachments falls squarely within 'management's right to manage', and NPF would have no power to get members out of Surrey any faster than RCMP management deems appropriate. Staffing levels between RCMP and SPS are already at the minimum level acceptable to the province. RCMP will decline further only as SPS is able to bring people in and put them on the road.

Any actions will have to go through the Surrey Police Services Board, and anything major will need signoff by the province. This isn't going to be quick or, likely, particularly clean. I wouldn't be surprised to see Locke's council push a legal challenge on the 'poison pill' 18 month severance for all SPS members already hired.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Surrey RCMP detachment members don’t work federal stuff. There’s an entirely separate federal policing business line within RCMP for things like national security, transnational organized crime, and border enforcement. Separately, BC has integrated (RCMP + municipal) units for provincial level organized crime, traffic enforcement, etc. Surrey RCMP and Surrey Police Service fully overlap and are in the process of transitioning the one to the other. Both have constables and front line supervisors on the road, in some cases under each others’ supervision. The transition, so far as I can tell, is early into the messiest and most confusing part. @RedFive could probably enlighten us further.
I have friend working Surrey as RCMP, he tells me that the staff shortages are painful, he did 5-6 years on the streets there, I think people would be shocked at how few police are on the street at any one time. Seems they have a high burnout rate there, mostly do to the interaction with their clients.
 
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