The municipalities on the Lower Mainland would agree that Vancouver and Abbotsford's generous police-union contract has made it financially impossible to make policing sustainable, as well as to seriously consider their fiscal structure for a regional force.
Some municipalities have so far remained committed to local traditions, fearing a loss of community identity to Vancouver, but those communities that contract to the RCMP enjoy policing costs kept to a third to half of Victoria and Vancouver's overhead.
Given Vancouver pays the most of any B.C. municipality on a per capita basis, second only to Victoria, the proposed recommendation would ensure that every municipality within the Greater Vancouver area would share the burden of poor fiscal management.
As the right to work in many of America's states has dictated the fate of public-sector unions, it is past due to look at the cost of making our communities safe. In Wally Oppal's recommendations to avoid a Pickton-style nightmare in the future, he has forgotten the most obvious option: A regional police force operated by the RCMP that would provide the coverage for half the cost. This would be a step to get out from under union obligations that have held a fiscal gun to the heads of generations of taxpayers.
William Perry, Victoria