Government Finance Officers
Association of British Columbia
Monday, March 28, 2022

We asked local governments about their local government’s policing.

Out of 161 local governments in BC, 80 have a population under 5,000 and therefore do not have to contribute to policing costs. Of the remaining 81 municipalities, 11 have a municipal police force, leaving 70 with RCMP services that they must pay between 70-90% of the costs.

The RCMP ratified a collective agreement with the federal government in August 2021 for a new 6-year period expiring in 2023, which has forced an increased cost on our BC local governments. In our March issue we asked members how this increase impacted budget.

How has spending on policing changed in 5 years from 2017 to 2022:

Local Governments with a population of 5,000 to 14,999 are required to contribute 70% toward RCMP policing costs. The response for this question included 50% of local governments in this group. These local governments reported that between 2017 and 2022, spending increased on average 38%, with a median increase reported at 30%. The reported increase in their overall municipal budgets was 3.35% on average due to policing cost increases.

Local Governments with a population of 15,000 or more, must contribute 90% towards paying RCMP officers. We had a response rate of 32% from local governments in this group, who reported that spending between 2017 and 2022 increased on average 28%, with a median increase reported at 26%. The reported increase in overall municipal budgets was 0.59% on average due to policing costs.

We had 5 of 11 local governments with Municipal Police Forces respond to this question, with 4 out of 5 reporting their collective agreements had expired causing uncertainty of future expenditures.

Detailed results for this survey can be obtained by emailing

Thank you to all who participated in this questionnaire. The online Forum is a great place to continue the conversation.

If you have a topic for a future quarterly question please contact the office at or (250) 382-6871.

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