MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – County council has passed two motions related to RCMP administrative support at the Didsbury and Olds detachments. The motions were passed at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.
One motion calls for the county to terminate the Didsbury detachment RCMP administrative support agreement with the Town of Carstairs and Town of Didsbury effective March 31, 2020.
The second motion calls on administration to notify the Town of Olds that due to upcoming police funding model changes proposed by the province of Alberta, that the county does not intend to fund any RCMP administrative assistant positions.
Under the current Police Act, rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 5,000 are exempt from paying for policing. That system is changing under a new police-funding model introduced by the province.
“As the province has now proposed a model that they believe to be fair and representative of the cost to provide policing within municipalities, it is administration’s position that the additional support provided to the Town of Didsbury and proposed by the Town of Olds would be a duplication of costs already collected by the province through the updated police funding model,” said Chris Atchison, director of legislative services.
Mountain View County is currently projecting a cost of $474,000 for 2020 and $570,000 for 2021, he said.
“Council should note that these costs are very preliminary and based on verbal presentations from the province,” he said.
Nine years ago Mountain View County, the Town of Didsbury, Town of Carstairs agreed to jointly fund one-third of an RCMP administrative support position at the Didsbury detachment “in an effort to alleviate the amount of administrative time that RCMP officers were undertaking and to allow for additional officer hours within the community,” he said.
Councillors out of WCB
In other council news, councillors have passed a motion removing elected officials in the municipality from the county’s Workers Compensation Board coverage.
The move also came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.
In a briefing note to council, administration said it was recommending the termination of the coverage for all councillors.
“Elected officials are not deemed to be workers or covered under WCB unless a specific motion of council requests coverage,” said Atchison.
In the 1970s council passed a motion that all councillors be added to the county’s WCB coverage.
“Through a review of our insurance coverage provided by Rural Municipalities of Alberta insurance, we have determined that more appropriate supplemental coverage is already in place that better suits the role of elected officials,” he said.
“If councillors are removed from WCB coverage they are no longer classified as 'workers’ and do not need to participate in our annual health and safety audit.”