John Horgan taxes lead to RCMP cuts, rural communities now at risk

PRINCE GEORGE (November 14, 2019) – MLA Mike Morris, the BC Liberal Public Safety & Solicitor General Critic, is calling out John Horgan and the NDP for failing to fight for rural communities as the RCMP announced a drastic $10 million cut to provincial policing costs.

“The Police Act lays out that it is the Minister’s responsibility to ensure an adequate and effective level of policing in the province. This Minister is clearly derelict in his duty,” said Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie. “The consequences of ignoring rural concerns and imposing an Employer Health Tax (EHT) throughout the province are coming at the cost of public safety. The NDP’s reckless actions are endangering rural British Columbians.”

British Columbia’s crime rate rose 1.8 per cent in 2018 compared with 2017 figures while the Crime Severity Index (CSI) increased as well. The CSI is a Statistics Canada tool for measuring police-reported crime that tracks changes in both the severity and volume of crime.

“This is yet another example of John Horgan and the NDP’s lack of respect for rural communities throughout British Columbia and an unwillingness to invest in public safety,” added Morris. “They let us down with no effective response to the forestry crisis, they drained the Rural Dividend Fund, and now they’re allowing rural RCMP detachments to languish without adequate funds while crime rates are rising.”

In June, the Victoria Police Department cut their entire Crime Reduction Unit in order to afford John Horgan’s new Employer Health Tax. Today’s RCMP cuts will hurt small rural detachments as well as funding for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

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