â€œThe government canâ€™t build an internationally-controversial project, and then stick Burnaby with the bill for the costs of policing the protestsâ€�, said Julian. â€œFor a government that has tried to sell an image of itself as a responsible financial steward, the last thing it should be doing is dumping millions of dollars in costs on a municipality.â€�
The costs in dispute are the overtime accrued by RCMP officers while policing the Trans Mountain protests. The RCMP is operationally independent from the City of Burnaby, meaning Burnabyâ€™s city council has no ability to direct operational decisions related to the protests. Former Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan objected to the city being made to pay the costs, and current Mayor Mike Hurley has raised the issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly.
â€œWith the governmentâ€™s approval of the expansion project, itâ€™s clear that protests to that federal government decision will continue,â€� said Julian. â€œInstead of causing fiscal uncertainty for the city and consequently endangering public services, the federal government should do the right thing, and commit to paying all past and future overtime expenses related to the Trans Mountain protests.â€�
Peter's letter to the federal Public Safety Minister is available here.
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