RCMP raises won’t effect local taxpayers

Mayor (Ross) Forrest says Lake Cowichan has nothing to worry about with regard to RCMP getting pay raises.

Though many mayors around B.C. seem to be blistering over the fact the RCMP will be getting pay raises after a new contract signed between the force and the province in March, Mayor (Ross) Forrest says Lake Cowichan has nothing to worry about.

The 20-year contract will end up costing Nanaimo an estimated $4 million, and Mayor John Ruttan says, “Any hopes of reducing the fat off the budget between now and May 15 is pretty slim.”

Many municipalities are facing a 1.75  per cent hike in police wages this year, and a 1.5 per cent increase in 2013. However, because Lake Cowichan’s population still has a ways to go before the population hits the magic 5,000 mark, the town will not be affected by the increase.

“We pay pretty well a standard fee for RCMP costing,” says Forrest. This cost sits at somewhere around $100,000 per year for Lake Cowichan tax payers. “Its not going to have a huge impact on us. You don’t pay a lot until you’re over a population of 5,000. Lake Cowichan’s population is about 3000.”