Skip to main content

National Police Federation appeals to Alberta government over provincial service

RCMP members march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh RCMP members march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A group that represents thousands of RCMP members across Alberta is attempting to convince the provincial government to abandon its idea of a provincial police service.

The National Police Federation (NPF) released details of its pre-budget submission to the Alberta government Thursday and says funding that would be used to create a new law enforcement agency could instead help the "underfunded" RCMP.

"Modern policing requires pragmatic approaches to supporting and delivering effective public safety for communities and their residents – in particular, rural and remote areas that are served by the RCMP," said Brian Sauvé, NPF president, in a statement.

Sauvé added now is the time to improve public safety as Alberta's population is growing and crime is evolving.

In the statement, it said $371 million – the amount the NPF says the province would need for one-time transition costs – could provide valuable investment for the existing service:

  • $164 million to add 633 additional officers and 250 administrative support staff;
  • $45 million for modern and sustainable equipment resources;
  • $20 million to develop responses to well-being and mental health-related calls;
  • $38 million on strategies to reduce rural crime in Alberta;
  • $4 million to create police advisory committees; and
  • $100 million to improve equitable access in rural and remote communities to target the root causes of crime.

The NPF says, if the government considers their advice, the adoption of a provincial police force is "unnecessary."

"Policing is also no stranger to financial pressures, especially as communities' needs continue to evolve," said Kevin Halwa, NPF's director of the prairie region.

"We believe these necessary investments will go farther to address immediate public safety concerns in our province than an unnecessary police transition would."


The Alberta government says while the numbers the NPF used in their recommendations are in line with what it estimated for the transition costs, it says the group forgot about some critical points.

"The NPF has failed to address the significant structural issues around the RCMP’s contract policing model and legitimate questions about whether it will remain sustainable in the future," said Dylan Topal, a provincial spokesperson, in an email to CTV News on Thursday.

While a decision has yet to be made on the proposal, Topal says the government is continuing to work to make "Alberta a safer place for everyone."

"Our government is investing in public safety initiatives to protect Albertans across the province, no matter where they choose to call home," he said.

"In 2020, the provincial government responded to concerns about crime and response times in rural areas by implementing a new funding model designed to put more officers and civilian support in small and rural communities policed by the RCMP under the provincial police service agreement."

He adds that funding model has already helped add officers in rural communities:

  • In 2020-21, the first year under the new funding model, the RCMP added 76 new officers and 56 civilian support positions;
  • In 2021-22, financial contributions from municipalities went toward 55 new RCMP officers and 42 additional civilian support positions; and
  • This year, 2022-23, the number of officers and civilian positions will continue to grow, with an additional 40 officers and 52 civilian support positions.

Topal says the government has also made its own strides toward many of the NPF's recommendations including strategies to combat organized crime, funding for addiction treatment spaces, hiring more prosecutors and investing money to expand drug treatment courts.

However, any sort of change to the existing police service in Alberta will take some time to implement, he says.

"The work our government is doing can help ensure Alberta is ready to make a transition on its own terms if the federal government ends RCMP contract policing or reduces subsidies to provinces and territories when the current policing agreements expire in 2032," Topal said. Top Stories

Stay Connected