“A private bill would circumvent the Police Act, and this is not desirable (…), so we cannot follow suit with your request.” That is an excerpt from the letter sent to Mayor Richard Burcombe by the Quebec minister of Public security turning down TBL’s request to establish local police services with Bromont.
“I am not surprised,” said Mayor Burcombe in an interview with Tempo, “but I remain optimistic and hope for the best. We will continue to fight for what we believe in. We want service for the money we pay; at almost $1.9M a year for police services in TBL, we are not getting value for money. TBL and Bromont will continue to fight for the police services we both want,” said Burcombe.
The minister’s letter adds that the Quebec government will soon table a Green Book to review all policing activities in the province; the Bromont-TBL request will be examined in the context of that overall review of police services. This way, the government avoids creating an exception to the Police Act and a precedent that other municipalities could invoke.
What could change the government’s position on this issue? “Our argument is that our situation is unique”, says TBL’s mayor. “It’s a battle we can win. I believe the CAQ is open to change. We have to step up and put the ball into their court. Our police services are not adequate for the money we pay. We used to have more police presence before the SQ took over. We have to go back to what it was before.”
After two years of discussion, the policing issue is now being pushed back again. The Green Book is due in December. It will be followed by public consultation and then the government will review the various opinions it will receive and come up with a series of recommendations. That will take some time.