The City of Fort St. John needs to pay out $483,961 in RCMP retirement benefits this year after the provincial and federal governments recently settled a number of longstanding disputes over the police force.
The settlement of the liability arises from the federal government's termination of accumulated earned retirement benefits, and the payout of those benefits, city staff note in a report to council for May 25.
“The Province has agreed to pay the RCMP members' entitlement to accumulate severance pay for voluntary resignations and retirements as of March 31, 2012,” writes Brenda Butterworth-Carr, assistant deputy minister and director of police services for B.C., wrote in a May 14 letter to the city.
“Although the termination of the severance pay entitlement will result in future cost avoidance for municipalities, the Province and PSC, as of March 31, 2019 your municipality has an outstanding obligation of: $483,961.”
The two senior levels of government also settled disputes over funding for the RCMP's provincial headquarters in Surrey, and cost-sharing for the Lower Mainland District Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
However, only the retirement benefits will come with an extra cost to the city, and will need to be paid this year, according to the report.
The city pays 90% of the RCMP costs as determined by the province, City Manager Dianner Hunter noted.
“It is unfortunate that these additional costs come at a time when all local governments have seen a significant reduction in revenues, however, it is a cost that [must] be borne by the City,” Hunter writes.
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