FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2022
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition calls on the Deputy Premier to ensure that the RCMP have the proper resources to deliver the newly announced policing priorities. The party thanks the Yukon Police Council, community partners, and the Department of Justice for their efforts in determining the priorities for 2022-2023.
“While we are pleased to see enhanced policing targeted at the opioid and hard drug crisis as a priority, that commitment is just lip service unless the government provides RCMP the resources they need to follow through,” said Justice Critic Brad Cathers. “We remain concerned about the Deputy Premier’s dismissiveness of funding issues raised by the Chief Superintendent of the RCMP. It’s time for action, not more hollow words from the Minister.”
The Chief Superintendent told media recently the RCMP was taking officers from some units to put toward the Crime Reduction Unit. He also said funding increases were going to offset wages and increased Operating and Maintenance costs, and there had been no new frontline positions created since he took the job in 2016. Instead of actually addressing the concerns, the Deputy Premier immediately went to the media to reject the Chief Superintendent’s claims and even suggested that he is confused about his own budget.
The Yukon Party asked the Deputy Premier in the Legislative Assembly if she would properly fund the RCMP to combat rising crime rates, and accommodate an overall population increase. We are disappointed the Minister chose not to include dealing with property crime and the impacts that has on small businesses and citizens, in the priorities.
The Official Opposition also supported the RCMP’s call for a Drug Enforcement Unit to deal specifically with enforcement, alongside harm reduction and treatment, as part of an overall strategy to combat the opioid crisis. As usual, the Deputy Premier instead ignored any suggestions.
The Yukon Party will continue to push for adequate resources for the RCMP.