Four years of negotiations have ended with a new Northwest Territories Territorial Police Services Agreement that Minister of Justice Glen Abernethy says will give the NWT government more input into the infrastructure, programs and services provided by the RCMP.
The new agreement went into effect April 1. With a principle agreement in place since November, the final agreement was signed only a few days before the old contract ended. The new agreement features significant changes to management and financial transparency provisions.
One of the bigger changes in the new contract will give the GNWT more input into infrastructure, which Abernethy said was previously the sole responsibility of Public Safety Canada. Now the GNWT will sit at the table helping set priorities. He called it a huge advantage over the past agreement.
“We at the Legislature are going to have a greater ability to provide guidance into the RCMP infrastructure in the Northwest Territories and programs and services in the Northwest Territories. We’ll have a great partnership and a more collaborative relationship with the RCMP,” he said.
The GNWT has formed a new contract management committee to work with other territories and provinces to gain more influence over cost and service decisions that will be made over the contract’s duration.
“There are going to be increased costs to the Northwest Territories as a result of this contract, but we feel that these changes will provide greater accountability and involvement in the provision of police services in the Northwest Territories,” Abernethy said.
The actual financing formula stays the same, with the GNWT paying 70 per cent of policing costs. The overall increase comes from additional responsibilities the territory is taking on.