The new RCMP headquarters in Surrey will include a mess haul – with alcohol on tap – if an application for a licence is approved by city council.
E-Division, a $263-million building currently under construction in Green Timbers Urban Forest, will be home to close to 2,000 Mounties and support staff.
It’s traditional that RCMP division headquarters include a mess hall for the use of off-duty officers.
The Green Timbers mess hall will seat 500, and according to the application, will be allowed to operate from 11 a.m. to midnight daily, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
“Currently, the mess in Vancouver is open from about 3:30 (p.m.) to about 8 o’clock at night,” RCMP Cpl. Bernie Conroy said, adding there are tight controls around alcohol consumption.
And if someone has had too much, the membership has a safe ride program where the Mountie can take a taxi home for free.
Conroy also notes that the mess hall is paid for entirely by the RCMP members, who pay dues to be able to use the facility – much like a legion hall. The dues would also fund the taxi rides.
He said the facility will be used for other functions besides imbibing.
“Most days it will be simply used for other things, meetings, charitable events, veterans’ functions that happen during the day,” Conroy said. “It is used, right now, primarily as a meeting space.”
The mess hall will be similar to the one at E-Division’s current Vancouver location on Heather Street.