The National Police Federation (NPF) has released its report following a long tour of the province.
The RCMP union's Keep Alberta RCMP tour was held to gather feedback from Albertans and inform them of the implications of the potential switch to a provincial police force, which the provincial government has been considering for some time now.
Vocal opponents to the concept, the NPF has been pointing to negative implications for the province should the switch happen, including transition costs,
impacts on service levels, and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual federal funding.
With the release of the report, the union claims it’s now clear that most Albertans agree.
The Keep Alberta RCMP tour took the union across the province, with 38 in-person events held along with five virtual ones.
Their report called Your Police – Your Future: Listening to Albertans, includes much of the feedback gathered during the tour.
It includes data gathered from three rounds of research conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights in October 2020, April 2021, and October 2021 as well as an online survey held from January to April 2022.
According to the report, the data shows only 9 per cent of respondents support the notion of replacing the RCMP, with 93 per cent wanting a detailed breakdown of the costs, and 85 per cent supporting the notion of improving the RCMP instead of replacing it.
They also point to the fact that both the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and Alberta Municipalities both passed resolutions opposing a provincial police force.
The NPF’s regional director Kevin Halwa says municipalities are overwhelmingly in agreement.
“We’ve been meeting with municipalities for well over two years now, talking to them about this possibility. Not a single municipality has told us that they are in support of a provincial police force, in fact, the vast majority of them have come out and plainly said ‘no, we love our mounties, we want to keep the RCMP.'”
Halwa says in the months the data was gathered and the tour was held, their questions have not been addressed.
“The cost portion of the issue has not been addressed, I would say, even remotely by the Government of Alberta… We are talking, even by the government’s own PWC report, hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year, year after year after year, that will need to be footed by the taxpayers of Alberta, and the government has not come up with any sort of plan as to where the money is going to come from.”
The province met with several municipalities earlier this year, and are said to be planning public engagement opportunities.
The NPF submitted the report to the province, and it’s available to read on their website.