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Contract Policing

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  • RCMP Contract Policing is provided through Police Services Agreements which are negotiated between the federal government and provinces, territories and municipalities. It has been common practice to refer to the Police Service Agreements as contracts, hence the origins of the term “contract policing”.
  • The current Agreements expire on March 31, 2032.
  • The RCMP currently provides contract policing services to eight provinces (Ontario and Quebec have their own provincial police service), three territories and under direct contract to some 150 municipalities in Canada.

The Police Services Agreement

  • Police Services Agreements outline the duties and responsibilities of the RCMP in financial, operational and administrative areas within the provisions of the provincial and municipal policing services.
  • Provinces and municipalities establish the level of resources, budget and policing priorities in consultation with the RCMP.
  • The RCMP is responsible for delivering on the policing priorities within the established budget.   
  • The Police Services Agreements are based on a modernized relationship that includes strengthened accountability and governance, enhanced reporting, and meaningful consultation.
  • Police Services Agreements are based on cost share. Provinces and territories pay 70% of RCMP costs and the federal government pays 30%.
  • Municipal agreements are based on a number of different cost share formulas, which are dependent on population size, and when a municipality signed its first policing agreement with the RCMP. 

Benefits of Contract Policing

  • RCMP members in contract policing maintain a federal policing presence across the country.  They are deployable across jurisdictions when required and called upon to assist in major investigations, emergencies, and national events that are beyond the policing capacity of a province, territory, municipality to address alone.
  • Under the benefits of the contract policing model, the RCMP is able to provide top level security drawn from across the country for international events such as the 2010 Olympics and the G8/G20.
  • Contract policing allows for the seamless sharing of intelligence and high level  cooperation between all levels of policing.
  • As Canada’s national police force, the RCMP maintains national standards and policies across contract policing jurisdictions.  
  • The RCMP contributes to Canadian sovereignty as contract policing members are often the federal government’s sole representative(s) in many remote and isolated areas.

Questions & Answers

When did the RCMP start doing contract policing?
The RCMP began providing contract policing services to the provinces as early as 1906. The Policing Agreements function in the same manner as a business contract. 

Why does the RCMP do contract policing?
Contract policing is recognized as an effective national policing model to address the cross jurisdictional (i.e., municipal, provincial, territorial, national and international) and evolving nature of crime. Canada and the provinces receive benefits from the RCMP acting as the provincial police service by:

  • facilitating the flow of intelligence between all levels of policing,
  • having a direct connection, through the RCMP, between municipal, provincial, territorial, national and international policing that is important to modern policing and security of provincial infrastructure and communities,
  • promoting Canadian sovereignty through the RCMP presence across Canada including in isolated communities and at Canada’s borders,
  • having RCMP members available for redeployment, and
  • sharing the costs and use of common police and administrative services.

Does the RCMP have any input into what gets included in the Agreements?
Essentially, the RCMP is a neutral body.  The RCMP is NOT a signatory to the agreements, which are negotiated between Canada and the provinces and territories.  Although provinces and municipalities establish the level of policing, budget and policing priorities, they do so in consultation with the RCMP.

What are the different cost-sharing ratios under contract policing?
Provinces and territories pay 70% of RCMP costs and the federal government pays 30%. There are three types of cost-share ratios for municipalities:

  • a 70% municipal & 30% federal government cost-share ratio for municipalities with a population of less than 15,000.
  •  a 90% municipal & 10% federal government cost-share ratio for municipalities with a population greater than 15,000.
  • Since 1991, municipalities never before policed by the RCMP must pay 100% of contract policing costs.

Can the Policing Agreements be terminated before their 20-year end date?
Yes. The Agreements clearly state that they may be terminated on March 31st in any year by either party (Government of Canada or any province, territory or municipality). Parties, however, must give notice of termination 24 months prior to the date of the intended termination.