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Alberta’s government hired PwC Canada in October 2020 to study the feasibility of replacing the RCMP in Alberta with a provincial police service. This follows the recommendation of the Fair Deal Panel report that Alberta should actively consider the establishment of its own force.
PwC Canada’s report, released Oct. 29, explores the operational needs, processes and potential transition costs and puts forward a provincial model that would put more front-line personnel in communities across Alberta at a total cost equal to, or lower than, the total cost of the RCMP contract policing model used in Alberta.
“This independent report makes a compelling case for creating a police service that’s designed by Albertans, for Albertans. Alberta’s government is committed to the safety and security of all Albertans, no matter where they live. A much stronger model of community policing, with closer integration of social services and the involvement of Indigenous people in governance, holds real potential for improving policing in Alberta.”
“During my rural crime tour this summer, rural Albertans made it clear that they are deeply concerned about crime in their communities. PwC Canada has developed a policing model that could address long-standing concerns about response times in rural areas and put more boots on the ground. We’re eager to share these innovative and thought-provoking ideas with stakeholders and hear their thoughts over the coming months.”
The policing model presented by PwC proposes innovative approaches to service delivery and governance that have the potential to better address the root causes of crime through built-in partnerships with mental health and addictions professionals. PwC also proposes establishing a provincial police commission and commissions at the local level to increase accountability and ensuring a governance role for Indigenous people. A key element of the report is an enhancement of community policing with an increased emphasis on local recruiting and retention.
Engagement with Albertans
Based on PwC’s research, the government will continue to study the feasibility of a provincial police service. As part of this, the Alberta government will conduct an extensive stakeholder engagement beginning in late November.
The upcoming engagement will include meetings with municipalities, First Nations and Métis communities, law enforcement organizations and public safety partners such as victims services organizations and rural crime watch groups. The sessions will be an opportunity to share the report, answer questions from stakeholders and gather their perspectives on the proposed policing model. These will build upon town halls and stakeholder meetings Minister Madu conducted during his rural crime tour this summer. There will also be a public survey in early 2022.
The government’s research and engagement is in response to a recommendation by Alberta’s Fair Deal panel, which conducted public consultations across the province in 2019 and 2020. The Fair Deal panel recommended the government consider establishing a provincial police service as a way of addressing Albertans’ concerns with the RCMP.
Editor's note: This has been amended from the printed version provided to media.