Policing cost increases a shock for Island communities: Trivers
New Glasgow - Sudden, unscheduled cost increases to Island municipalities for police services highlight a lack of collaboration by the MacLauchlan government, says Rustico-Emerald MLA and Opposition Communities, Land and Environment Critic Brad Trivers.
“Municipal governments were blindsided when told late last week about these cost increases with some finding out about it through the media. Some of these communities are already well into their budget process so this increase came as a shock. That certainly doesn’t speak to a spirit of collaboration between the MacLauchlan government and Island communities,” said Trivers.
Six Island communities -- Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary, Borden-Carleton, Montague and Souris - have been told by MacLauchlan government that costs for policing will rise by five per cent this year, outstripping any increases in their municipal grants from the province. Trivers also pointed to the lack of any clear formulas for cost increases in the police contract and for municipal funding of communities themselves as further complicating factors.
“The time for the Premier to consult with these communities was before offloading extra costs onto their backs, not afterwards. Having no set formula for municipal funding or cost increases for services like policing puts a lot of financial pressure on communities,” said Trivers, noting plans by the MacLauchlan government to spend upwards of $150,000 to study police services in the province.