NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The City of North Vancouver might sign on to the new RCMP contract in BC, but it may not mean you’ll see Mounties there in the long-term.

The province is extending the deadline to decide on the contract, as several municipalities are still holding out. Justice Minister Shirley Bond says instead of this Thursday, decisions will now have to be made on the RCMP by the end of June.

North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto tells us they are studying the potential costs, in conjunction with four other Metro Vancouver councils in the District of North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, and Port Coquitlam.

He explains they want to examine the pros and cons of keeping the RCMP, or starting a municipal force.

“If it’s at a point where it’s more effective for us to do it at a municipal level, we’ll have to make that type of decision. But we don’t know that yet. We’re just presented with a contract with very little input in to it, so we have to look at it before we sign it,” says Mussatto.

He adds there is an opt-out clause within the first two years, which could allow them to complete their cost analysis before committing longer term.
    
“So, it may be the point where we have to sign, but then start our due diligence process. And then if we decide somewhere down the road that we’d like to put [in] a different type of policing, we would then serve the two years notice.”
        
Mussatto notes it will be much later in the summer before their in-depth examination of the costs will be finished.

Minister Bond says if a city decides not to sign the contract by June 30th, they will have to lay out a specific plan to provide policing moving forward.

The BC government completed negotiations on the new 20-year contract with the federal government in March. Each municipality wishing to continue receiving service from the RCMP must give final approval to the deal.