Letter: UCP looking into policing costs for rural areas right thing to do

UCP looking into policing costs for rural areas right thing to do

I was pleased to read on the Sept. 19 front page of Advocate that the province is looking into charging counties for police services.

The idea rural municipalities should not be contributing towards the cost of their policing goes back to the early days of the province. Thinly populated as the counties were, the true cost of effective police services would have been a tremendous burden on taxpayers.

But times have changed, and under the guise of being “rural,” some counties, are developing what are effectively urban centres able to offer substantial property tax breaks to city businesses prepared to move out of town.

I challenge anyone to stand in the middle of Gasoline Alley, and tell me this is rural.

Outdated legislation has created what is effectively a huge tax dodge that is draining life from the city of Red Deer. As ridiculous as it seems, residents of a city of 100,000 must now leave town to access professional and retail services, and even first-run movies.

Former Premier Rachel Notley calculates charging rural municipalities and small towns for their police services would cost $157 million. My question then is, who’s paying that now? I applaud the provincial government taking this initiative.

Richard D. McDonell, Red Deer

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