Taxpayers take bath on ‘used’ RCMP cars
Let’s hope the RCMP are better at catching criminals than they are at being used car salespeople.
Because it looks like Canadian taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a multimillion-dollar bill, after the Mounties bought 631 new vehicles for $23 million for the June 8-9 G7 summit, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in La Malbaie, Que.
Now that the summit is long gone, the government is having trouble selling off the vehicles, only 51 of which are being retained for government use.
Another 167 were sold through a government surplus website from August to October recovering $6.3 million, but figures obtained by the National Post’s MarieDanielle Smith show that despite offering huge discounts, sales are slow.
For example, so far, the government has sold 29 of 140 new Chrysler 300s it purchased — with a suggested retail price of $41,00 to $49,000 according to Driving.ca — for an average price of $27,780.
Almost half of these vehicles had fewer than 100 kilometres on them.
The RCMP says it determined it was more economical to buy the vehicles than lease them, based on the cost to lease the vehicles for one year, versus vehicle depreciation during one year.
But that raises unanswered questions about why the government couldn’t rent vehicles instead of leasing them, or use vehicles from existing government fleets, or borrow cars from other police forces?
The RCMP also says buying the vehicles outright made it easier to properly equip them months in advance of the G7.
But the low mileage on many of them — ranging from 41 km to an average of
1,726 km on some of the models the government is trying to sell, raises the question of why they were needed in the first place.
The Mounties said while the purchases were based on “operational requirements” they won’t go into details on how the vehicles were used for “security reasons.”
That’s a catch-all excuse that can’t be tested against reality, often used by governments when they don’t want to discuss an embarrassing issue.
Given that, this would be an appropriate topic for investigation by the auditor general, to determine if taxpayers received good value for money for what seems like a wasteful decision.
— Postmedia News