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Rally opposing Alberta provincial police force held at RCMP K Division

The union that represents 700 non-police workers in RCMP detachments in Alberta held a rally on Thursday against forming a provincial police force.

Members of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE), along with the prairie chapter of Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents workers in federal departments and agencies, convened outside RCMP K Division in Edmonton at 11:30 a.m.

Organizers of the rally say Premier Danielle Smith needs to consult with Albertans before moving forward with creating a provincial force.

“This current government’s plan to move to a provincial police force is not anything Albertans are asking for. All of the polling shows they don’t want this, the municipalities don’t want this, but yet this government is proceeding on this plan,” said Marianne Hladun of PSAC.

“It’s not only going to be a public safety issue, but it’s fiscally irresponsible. It will cost Albertans millions of dollars to have their own provincial police force and the cost benefit just doesn’t add up.”

While representatives for the union say the plan could cost hundreds of detachment support workers in the province their jobs, they are also concerned about the impact replacing the RCMP would have on the community.

“We are members of these communities. Our members live in these small communities. They work in the detachments, they are members of the community, they are volunteers in the community, they spend their unionized paycheques in the community. That’s 700 jobs that are not going to be contributing to Alberta communities,” Hladun said.

Last week, Smith ordered ministers Mike Ellis and Tyler Shandro to move forward on creating a provincial police force, but did not provide a timeline on when the force would be launched. Top Stories

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