The survey carried out by the municipalities of Brome Lake and Bromont shows that 90% of the population of Bromont is satisfied with its police services. In TBL only 60% of respondents say the same. That sets the tone. Not surprisingly, 75% of respondents agree with the proposed joint services. Almost as many respondents of TBL say that will improve police presence and security in their town. There is however 42% of Bromont respondents who say this will not improve their police services. In other words they fear joining forces with TBL will reduce the quality of their own police services. ‘’Absolutely not’’ says Louis Villeneuve, Mayor of Bromont. What it will do, says Villeneuve is reduce our police costs by about one million dollars a year.
For its part, TBL’S Mayor Richard Burcombe estimates the town would have saved about $400,000 this year alone.
Adoption of a Private Bill
Before all these savings end up in the two municipalities coffers, a Private Bill has to be adopted in the National Assembly. The Police Act does not allow a municipality with a population of less than 50,000 to create its own police force.
Meetings between the mayors and the new Brome-Missisquoi MLA Isabelle Charest have shown that the government party is favourable to the changes in police services in the two municipalities. It seems the plan will receive political support as it aims to improve a public service at a lower cost to citizens.
Driving a Private Bill through the National Assembly can be a lengthy process. After the drafting of the Bill it is presented to the Assembly and then referred to a Parliamentary Commission for further examination. It is then debated back in the full Assembly. In the absence of political opposition, according to sources approached by Tempo, the process can take up to a year.
Early next year, TBL will receive its 2019 police services invoice which will be based on the new assessment roll. This bill may well exceed $2 million.