Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen has asked for a letter of support from the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW) requesting the RCMP to keep two constables living in the Village.
Allen brought the motion forward at the RDMW’s Dec. 19 board meeting, where she also brought forth a correspondence sent from the Village of Port Alice to RCMP Chief Superintendent Sean Sullivan, which outlines her concerns.
“Our two Port Alice RCMP, Con. Elijah Parish and Con. Dave Cerniuk, terms are both up in 2018 and their posting replacements will be forthcoming. For several years, the Village of Port Alice Council has been extremely concerned about the possibility of our two RCMP not residing in Port Alice,” the letter explains.
It also states that, “The Village of Port Alice requests these two replacement postings include the replacements continue to reside in Port Alice.”
Allen noted that Supt. Sullivan would be visiting Port Alice in the second week of January in order to meet with them regarding these concerns.
“I would really like some support from the Regional District via letter pertaining to keeping the postings with the two constables living in Port Alice,” said Allen.
She also noted that the Port Alice RCMP officers “fall under the umbrella” of the Port Hardy detachment, where about half their time is spent.
“We understand that, we are not happy about that but we do understand that,” said Allen, adding that she would like the letter from the RDMW to “to assist us in ensuring that the two constables continue to live in Port Alice and it has to be posted that way.”
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Port Alice Mayor and Council had also previously expressed their concern to RCMP Deputy Commissioner, Commanding Officer Brenda Butterworth-Carr at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in September and discussed concerns with Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen, during a council meeting in November.
“We need to be very vocal about this, this happened when the posting went out three years ago, and we became very vocal and we had a lot of support,” said Allen, adding “In a small community like ours you know when the RCMP are there, everybody knows them, we just need to feel far more comfortable by them living there.”
Winter Harbour – Holberg representative Phil Wainwright recommended that individual village and town councils in the district should also send a letter of support.
“I think it’s an important issue for a small community like Port Alice and it would throw a lot of weight behind it if councils would put their signature to it as well,” said Wainwright.
“Just let me be clear on this one – We do like people living in Port Hardy,” said Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood, adding “But your two RCMP officers are running back and forth to Port Hardy the coverage obviously changes and I think you have a really good point there.”
Bood also added that “In general the way the federal and provincial governments are going they are conglomerating things more and more, that would be the trend, and there have to be exceptions and this is one of them.”
The RDMW passed the motion to send a letter on behalf of the board to the Village of Port Alice to assist them in ensuring that the two constables continue to live in Port Alice.
Bood and Coun. Pat Corbett-Labatt noted Port Hardy Council would address sending a letter at their first council meeting in January.