RCMP pro­vide in­sight into hub­bing of de­tach­ments

Great North­ern Penin­sula Joint Coun­cil con­venes in Hawke’s Bay

Northern Pen - - Front page - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS stephen.roberts@north­ern­pen.ca

The Great North­ern Penin­sula Joint Coun­cil hosted a meet­ing May 27 to ad­dress and dis­cuss the ma­jor con­cerns of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

At­tend­ing the meet­ing as part of the joint coun­cil were coun­cil­lors and may­ors from Port au Choix, Port Saun­ders, An­chor Point, Flower’s Cove, St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet, En­glee, Main Brook, Rod­dick­tonBide Arm, Hawke’s Bay, Conche, Bird Cove and St. An­thony.

St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA Christo­pher Mitchel­more and RCMP Su­per­in­ten­dent Dave Cook also at­tended.

Meet­ing with RCMP Cook was in­vited by the joint coun­cil for a pre­sen­ta­tion at the start of the meet­ing.

The pre­sen­ta­tion cen­tered on the RCMP’s de­ci­sion to “hub” de­tach­ments to­gether in St. An­thony and Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm and also the Port Saun­ders and Flower’s Cove de­tach­ments.

This means that dur­ing af­ter hours, neigh­bour­ing de­tach­ments will re­spond to calls for ser­vice at their own de­tach­ment and the neigh­bour­ing de­tach­ment on an al­ter­nat­ing ba­sis.

The joint coun­cil wanted to know why the RCMP made this de­ci­sion and what in­for­ma­tion was used.

Cook ex­plained the ra­tio­nale. He pro­vided a sta­tis­ti­cal break­down of the num­ber of calls they re­ceive at dif­fer­ent hours. The num­bers showed that af­ter hour calls for the four RCMP de­tach­ments were low.

But if it is an ur­gent mat­ter – such as a vi­o­lent crime or lifeen­dan­ger­ing in­ci­dent – they will try to use RCMP within the near­est com­mu­nity.

Cook also in­formed the joint coun­cil that the RCMP will mon­i­tor the situation and make any ad­just­ments deemed nec­es­sary.

The RCMP con­firmed this to the North­ern Pen later by email.

Joint coun­cil chair and An­chor Point Mayor Gerry Gros told the North­ern Pen the joint coun­cil was pleased with the ex­pla­na­tion, and that they are will­ing to re­view and make ad­just­ments.

But the joint coun­cil is still cau­tious.

“Re­sponse times still are a con­cern,” said Gros. “I’m still con­cerned what hap­pens if we have two of­fi­cers on call way at the south­ern end at the district and they get an emer­gency call at the north end of the district.”

Af­ter the meet­ing, Gros also said many mem­bers of the pub­lic had the im­pres­sion that the de­tach­ments would lose of­fi­cers. He felt it needed to be clar­i­fied that this is not the case.

The five po­si­tions in Port Saun­ders, three in Flower’s Cove, three in Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm and four in St. An­thony will all re­main filled.

The joint coun­cil are hop­ing de­tach­ment com­man­ders will be able to at­tend the be­gin­ning of each of its quar­terly meet­ings to pro­vide an up­date on how the call sys­tem is work­ing. Mu­nic­i­pal Leg­isla­tive

Re­view lo­ca­tions In-per­son con­sul­ta­tions for the mu­nic­i­pal leg­isla­tive re­view are tak­ing place across the prov­ince this month.

But there isn’t one on the Great North­ern Penin­sula.

To at­tend one of these ses­sions, mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers would either have to travel by ferry to the ses­sion in L’Anse au Loup on May 31 or to Stephenville for the ses­sion on June 6.

These were the near­est lo­ca­tions.

The joint coun­cil feels the dis­tance is too great for any coun­cil­lors on the tip of the Great North­ern Penin­sula to at­tend.

But they want to be able to par­tic­i­pate in this dis­cus­sion.

It has there­fore de­cided to write a let­ter to the De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs, re­quest­ing an in-per­son pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be held some­where on the Great North­ern Penin­sula.

Pos­si­ble Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties

fund­ing Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm Mayor Sheila Fitzger­ald told the North­ern Pen the joint coun­cil is look­ing at whether they can avail of fund­ing from the Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to mit­i­gate cli­mate change.

“It would be a joint ven­ture,” she said.

Waste man­age­ment re­search

The joint coun­cil is con­cerned about pro­pos­als to have all of the Great North­ern Penin­sula’s waste shipped to a waste man­age­ment fa­cil­ity in Nor­ris Arm in cen­tral.

This would greatly in­crease trans­porta­tion dis­tance and, there­fore, fees for res­i­dents.

Coun­cil dis­cussed al­ter­na­tives at the meet­ing.

Gros, who also serves as the chair on the NorPen Re­gional Ser­vice Board, told the North­ern Pen that the board is aware of a north­ern com­mu­nity that has dis­posed of garbage us­ing high heat in­cin­er­a­tion.

The NorPen board, he said, is hop­ing to get in touch with the com­mu­nity, with the in­tent of con­duct­ing fur­ther re­search on heat in­cin­er­a­tion.

Great North­ern Port sup­port The joint coun­cil sup­ports Great North­ern Port’s pro­posal to de­velop Cre­maillere Har­bour, near St. An­thony, as an in­ter­na­tional port.

It was de­cided to sub­mit a let­ter to govern­ment ex­press­ing its sup­port.

Mu­nic­i­pal cost-share ra­tios

The joint coun­cil con­tin­ues to ad­vo­cate for a de­crease in the mu­nic­i­pal cost share ra­tios for dif­fer­ent projects.

Cost-shar­ing for a num­ber of dif­fer­ent cap­i­tal works projects were in­creased for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties last year.

The joint coun­cil feels this has made cer­tain projects, in­clud­ing road work and the con­struc­tion of build­ings such as fire halls, un­af­ford­able for small mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

The is­sue is raised rou­tinely at each joint coun­cil meet­ing since the an­nounce­ment last year. Me­moran­dum of as­so­ci­a­tion up­date

The me­moran­dum of as­so­ci­a­tion and ru­ral and pro­ce­dure for the joint coun­cil was dis­cussed. It will be look­ing to re­view and up­date cer­tain sec­tions of the me­moran­dum for the first time in 14 years.

This will be done by Gros and Flower’s Cove Mayor Keith Bil­lard.

Ac­cord­ing to Gros, when the joint coun­cil started, it was orig­i­nally just for may­ors. But sub­se­quently, deputy may­ors and coun­cil­lors have be­come mem­bers.

He says the me­moran­dum needs to be changed to in­clude in­di­vid­u­als in these po­si­tions. North­ern res­i­dents’

tax de­duc­tion

The joint coun­cil is still fight­ing for a north­ern res­i­dents’ tax de­duc­tion for com­mu­ni­ties on the Great North­ern Penin­sula.

It is now ask­ing other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to join the town coun­cil of St. An­thony in send­ing a let­ter to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau.

It may also look at start­ing an elec­tronic petition.

An­nual gen­eral meet­ing sched­uled

Gros told the North­ern Pen that the Great North­ern Penin­sula Joint Coun­cil’s AGM is sched­uled to be held in Hawke’s Bay in Oc­to­ber.

The joint coun­cil in­tends to in­vite Premier Dwight Ball and other cab­i­net mem­bers in the provin­cial govern­ment.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Great North­ern Penin­sula Joint Coun­cil held a meet­ing in Hawke’s Bay on May 27. At­tend­ing the meet­ing were (front, from left) St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Mead­ows MHA Christo­pher Mitchel­more, Port Saun­ders Coun­cil­lor Mary Lowe, St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet Mayor Dale Col­bourne, Main Brook Mayor Barb Genge, Rod­dick­ton-Bide Arm Mayor Sheila Fizger­ald; (back) Port au Choix Mayor Don­ald Spence, RCMP Su­per­in­ten­dent David Cook, En­glee Coun­cil­lor Ron Twyne, An­chor Point Mayor Gerry Gros, Hawke’s Bay Coun­cil­lor Tom Patey, Conche Coun­cil­lor Bren­dan Fitz­patrick, Main Brook Coun­cil­lor Ben Wiper and Flower’s Cove Mayor Keith Bil­lard. Miss­ing from photo but had par­tic­i­pated in the meet­ing by phone were Bird Cove Mayor An­dre My­ers and St. An­thony Deputy Mayor Krista Lynn How­ell.

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