Federal government eyes RCMP’s future as a national force, may drop contract policing for small communities
Advocates of police reform say they hope the B.C. government will act on recommendations to create a new provincial force following reports that Ottawa is considering revamping the RCMP so it operates more like the FBI and less like a collection of small-town police departments.
However, the head of the RCMP’s national union dismissed suggestions the RCMP is going to give up its local policing contracts.
The debate about the future of the RCMP in B.C. and Canada comes as B.C.’s public safety minister on Wednesday will decide whether the City of Surrey should be allowed to follow through with its plan to undo the transition to a municipal force and return to the RCMP.
Citing federal sources, the Toronto Star reported Ottawa is looking to transform the RCMP into an FBI-like federal police agency that focuses solely on national security, terrorism, financial crimes, cybercrime and organized crime. This could take the RCMP out of the business of front-line contract policing in hundreds of small communities across Canada.