It will be in the budget for this year, but Tignish mayor Allan McInnis suggested Monday that the town council should seriously consider whether it renews its policing contract with the RCMP.
“I’m not satisfied with the RCMP service. I’m not,” the mayor told residents attending the town’s pre-budget meeting. According to the contract, McInnis said the RCMP is supposed to provide 40 hours of policing to the town on a weekly basis, but he says residents are not seeing that much presence.
Although monthly reports indicate the force is fulfilling the contract, Mayor McInnis said the RCMP has not been able to provide him with an account of that service.
Councillor Angel Murphy said town council has also indicated some targeted hours they’d like to have officers present. “We live here. We know when the trouble hours are,” she said.
Resident Larry Doyle asked whether he was thinking of cutting the contract back to 20 or 30 hours a week.
“No, we can cut them out altogether. We’d get the same service,” the mayor replied.
Doyle worried that, without a contract, the RCMP might not be around at all, unless called.
“Well, they’re not around when we need them now anyway,” Murphy responded.
McInnis said the police would still have to provide service in Tignish, just like they do in St. Louis, St. Felix or any other community in the area.
“What we’re supposed to be getting is kind of like a Cadillac style service,” he said, but questioned whether it is any different than what communities receive that do not pay for policing.
“St. Louis, they don’t pay anything. They go through St. Louis and if they’re called they go there,” he commented.