Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is an iconic police force, and its members serve Canadians from coast to coast to coast with professionalism and valour. Mounties are recognized the world over as a symbol of Canada's values and traditions. The women and men of the RCMP work hard every day to prevent crime, apprehend offenders, and keep Canadians safe in their homes and communities. I know that all of us in the House hold RCMP members and the work they do in the highest regard, and I agree that they must be remunerated in a manner commensurate with the job we ask them to do.
The RCMP is comprised of over 30,000 employees, of which almost 18,400 are police officers, operating from over 750 service points across Canada. The RCMP also operates internationally through a network of liaison officers strategically deployed to 30 countries. Collectively, the efforts of these individuals form an exemplary model of policing that works to keep our country and its people safe and secure.
Each year, the RCMP responds to well over two million calls for service from Canadians, while continually operating a host of long-term, complex federal investigations, from organized crime to financial integrity to corruption and terrorism-related cases.
When tragic events occur, RCMP members are there to help. This spring, for example, local RCMP in the Fort McMurray area, supported by members from detachments throughout Alberta, were fully involved in supporting search and evacuation efforts, and they have played a vital role in re-entry and recovery.
In August, when the RCMP received credible information regarding a potential terrorist threat, it worked swiftly and effectively, in concert with other security and police forces, to keep Canadians safe.
Moreover, in many places, RCMP members are de facto social workers, big brothers and big sisters, and, in countless other ways that go beyond the traditional conception of law enforcement, integral and indispensable parts of community life. That is why it is so important that the members of our national police force have the resources they need to get the job done, and that they be fairly compensated for the difficult and crucial work that they do.
It is regrettable that, in the last four years of the Harper government, the Conservatives cut over half a billion dollars from the RCMP’s budget. We are currently in the midst of an integrity review to assess the adequacy of RCMP resources. In the meantime, Budget 2016 included a temporary program integrity fund for the RCMP to address funding issues.
As well, it is worth noting that the RCMP currently provides contract policing services to eight provinces, all three territories, and some 150 municipalities across Canada. These arrangements are based on cost-sharing mechanisms. For contracts with provinces and territories, they pay 70% of costs, including salaries, and the federal government covers 30%.
Municipal agreements are based on a number of different cost-share formulas that vary depending on population size and the year the original agreement was struck.
Nevertheless, there is no question that the concerns raised by RCMP members and management about compensation are very important, and we take them very seriously. Their requests will be taken fully into consideration as we continue working to ensure that the brave women and men of the RCMP receive fair remuneration, and have the resources they need to keep Canadians safe.