Welcome to BillCasey.ca

 

Following a very interesting career in politcs from 1988 to 2019, I am taking a new direction and wanted to update my webpage to reflect this new direction.

My plan is to renovate this website and also my webpage in order to then make regular postings regarding all things political.  I very much believe that we have one of the best political systems and I want to encourage and help those who aspire to be politicians. There is also an important role for those who want to work behind the scenes, and I believe that I can give some advice there as well.

My 30 years in politics has provided me with a unique perspective and a great appreciation for how well our system works. In my postings I will outline some of the aspects I think work well and I will also point out where it could be improved. The comments will not be partisan, but designed to help anyone interested in the political process in any party.

I intend to talk about Parliament, party politics, the role of members of parliament, how to contact members of parliament and how to affect change. I also intend to talk about current events and issues that affect us all. I perhaps will tell some interesting stories from my days as an MP.

There will also be an area where you can make a comment or ask a question and I will do my best to answer whatever issue is on your mind. I also hope to do a podcast and tell some stories there as well.

But to start with I’d like very much for you to write to me and tell me what you would like to hear about regarding our political system, politics or any issue that is on your mind. I want to know what you want to hear about.  I look forward to your comments and your questions.

Just go to  billcasey.ca   and click on the contact section and post your comments and questions to me.  Or email me at    billcasey45@hotmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks very much,

Bill

billcasey45@hotmail.com

billcasey.ca

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Distorted RCMP Competition Should Be Re-done

One disappointing aspect of the Nova Scotia RCMP Emergency Call Center issue is that an agency of the Government of Canada can blatantly misrepresent information on a significant competition …. and everyone looks the other way.
Attachment #1 is a copy of the RCMP Score Chart used to determine the location for the Nova Scotia RCMP 911 police emergency call center. The RCMP wanted Option #4 (80 Garland Ave, Dartmouth)  to win the competition, so they assigned a rental cost of $0 to that option. Zero rent. However…….
Attachment #2 is the Public Works rental agreement for the 80 Garland Avenue building which says the “Total Annual Rent” is $10,498,133.40. That works out to be exactly $547 per square meter.
Attachment #3 is from an internal RCMP document which also says “the current rental rate for the space is $547 per square meter”.
Both Public Works documents and RCMP documents confirm that the rental rate for the Option #4 building is $547 per sq meter.
However, the RCMP inserted the rental rate of $0 (ZERO) in order to ensure that the proposal #4 by Millbrook First Nation (and others) was not competitive. It is not possible to compete with $0 rent.
Back on Attachment #1, you will see that the RCMP unilaterally charged a false expense of $1,641,000 to the Millbrook proposal #4. You will note that all of the proposals were charged this false charge of $1,641,000…. except the one proposal that the RCMP wanted to win.  This charge is entirely false, has nothing to do with Millbrook, but it makes the Millbrook proposal not competitive again.
Millbrook First Nation was the first to submit a proposal to provide this facility. In my view, distorting the expense numbers is simply cheating a First Nation out of a fair chance to compete on a significant economic opportunity. The RCMP is an agency of the Government of Canada and it seems to me that the Government of Canada should have higher standards.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde has now added his voice to those of us who are calling for this competition to be done over again, but with no pre-determined outcome…. and no false expenses. He has actually extended an olive branch to the RCMP and I hope that they accept it.
If you have any questions, let me know.
Finally, look at the photo of the 80 Garland Avenue Building which the RCMP now says is “free”. Does it look like a free building to you?
It is never too late to do the right thing.
Thank you,
Bill Casey 902 397 1305 billcasey45@hotmail.com
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National Chief Perry Bellegarde Adds His Voice

Attached is a letter from National Chief Perry Bellegard to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki regarding the Nova Scotia RCMP competitive process to determine a new site for the Nova Scotia RCMP 911 Emergency Call Center.
He is urging the RCMP to have this process re-done but this time with no distorted expenses and no pre-determined outcome.
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Disastrous Beirut Explosion Proves a Point



Disasters like the horrific explosion in Beirut are the exact reason why the 2004 RCMP Expert Panel outright rejected Halifax Regional Municipality as the location for the RCMP 911 emergency communication center in Nova Scotia.

Disasters like the horrific explosion in Beirut are also why all leading authorities in emergency communications require that there to be “geographic separation” between 911 emergency communication centers.

The proposed RCMP plan to eliminate “geographic separation” in Nova Scotia by co-locating both major police 911 communication centers in one community does not meet those international standards and puts all Nova Scotians at unnecessary risk. It is a sub-standard emergency communications system.

Disasters like the horrific explosion in Beirut are also why all leading authorities like Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Emergency Number Association reject locations near dangerous facilities. A quote from the FEMA Manual specifically says that 911 emergency communication centers should not be “near hazardous materials sites or nuclear power facilities”.

Ironically, the RCMP are proposing to put their 911 emergency communication center exactly between the Department of National Defense Ammunition Storage facility, and the Canadian Forces Base Shearwater nuclear submarine dock in Dartmouth. This is the ultimate “hazardous materials site”, and the CFB nuclear submarine base hosts nuclear subs from Britain, U.S. and France. The RCMP co-location plan exactly contravenes the FEMA standards and is a sub-standard emergency communications system.

Below you can see the quotes from abridged CBC articles describing just some of the risks to Nova Scotia stressed by DND and FEMA.

Under the RCMP plan, both emergency communication centers and the RCMP Headquarters would all be in the same community which could mean a total province-wide breakdown of emergency communication and emergency leadership at the time that they are needed most.

The attached maps show the system adopted in 2004 compared the proposed sub-standard system that will place where the three major police emergency response facilities on one community against all international standards.

Map 3 shows the concentration of the three 911 emergency communication and RCMP management facilities which will be surrounded by hazardous materials sites and nuclear submarine facilities. This is the opposite of international standards.

Ask yourself…does it make sense to concentrate all of the Nova Scotia police emergency communication and police leadership in one community?

Does it make sense to locate them all next to the greatest concentration of hazardous materials sites and risks in Atlantic Canada?

Is Nova Scotia just Halifax Regional Municipality?


This RCMP decision was made in order to fill some empty office space in the Dartmouth RCMP building and proves that the RCMP places office preferences as a higher priority than emergency communications safety. Experience has proven that emergency communications should be considered the top priority, not an inconvenience.

I urge all politicians at all levels to be informed about the risks surrounding this sub-standard 911 emergency communication plan for Nova Scotia, and speak out against this dangerous RCMP move if they agree that Nova Scotia should not have all of our emergency eggs in one dangerous basket.


Bill Casey

902 397 1305




Note: The 1917 Halifax explosion was equivalent to 2.9 tons of TNT. (Wikipedia)
The 2020 Beirut explosion was equivalent to 1.1 tons of TNT. (Wikipedia)



One CBC Example of Hazardous Material Risk for Dartmouth
Highlights from CBC Article from 2017

Nova Scotia·CBC Investigates

Catastrophic fire ‘will likely occur’ at Halifax explosives depot, military report says

Military officials say risk of a fire might be high, but the risk of an explosion is low



Brett Ruskin · CBC News · Posted: Feb 09, 2017 6:00 AM AT | Last Updated: February 9, 2017



Death, property destruction and severe environmental damage could result from a fire that “will likely occur sometime” at an ammunition depot in the Halifax area, according to an internal military report.


The military assessed the fire risk for the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot in Bedford, N.S., and prepared a report in 2015 that was recently obtained by CBC News.

It concluded a fire will likely occur there, could be “catastrophic,” and “may cause death of personnel, severe loss of operational capability, destruction of property or severe environmental damage.”


“But if you have an entire magazine building go up, you’re going to be causing damage for kilometres,” he told CBC News.

The depot’s own emergency response guide says non-essential personnel should evacuate 800 to 1,300 metres from fires involving Class 1.1 explosives. That evacuation radius would include Magazine Hill — a major traffic artery near Bedford — as well as part of a residential area.


A source with knowledge of potential risks at the site, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said an evacuation resulting from a serious fire at the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot in Bedford could affect everything within a five-kilometre radius.


“I would evacuate all of Bedford, half of Sackville, all of Burnside, Fairview, and [the north end] up to the Macdonald Bridge,” the source said.

Halifax has a history of explosive events — most notably the explosion in 1917 following a collision in the harbour involving two ships. There was also a lesser-known incident at CFAD Bedford in 1945. A fire started on the jetty, which sparked a series of explosions that lasted two days and blew out nearly every window in the city.


Bill’s Note: Such an evacuation would include evacuating the proposed RCMP Emergency Communication Center and the RCMP Management and Headquarters FIRST. Who would then manage and co-ordinate public evacuations and emergencies if these two offices were closed first under this planned evacuation? Crazy plan.




Posted in News | 2 Comments

RCMP Brush Aside Their Own Safety Warnings

 

RCMP Brush Aside Their Own Safety Warnings

In 2004, the RCMP commissioned an Expert Panel to determine the best location for their 911 Emergency Call and Dispatch Center (OCC) in Nova Scotia. The resulting comprehensive 91 page RCMP Expert Panel report chose Truro as the best location.

This same RCMP Expert Panel ruled out only one community in Nova Scotia as “too risky” to be considered as a location for the OCC….Halifax Regional Municipality. This safety warning about HRM was repeated three times in the RCMP report. The main reason for the warning was the close proximity to the other Nova Scotia OCC.

Contrary to these warnings, the RCMP now want to solve an empty office space problem in their Dartmouth HQ building by moving the OCC to the Dartmouth.

In order to justify contravening these repeated safety warnings, the RCMP performed another in-house study in 2017 which has only one mention about safety. The 2017 RCMP study says

“Security risks outlined in the 2004 Report have since been assessed by RCMP Departmental Security, and are no longer a risk to relocating to the Halifax Region”.

In June 2019, I applied through Access To Information for a copy of the “assessment by the RCMP Departmental Security” referred to in the 2017 study, as well as research and data to support this statement.

The RCMP response to my ATIP came last week on June 11, 2020 and is attached. The ATIP response says:

“ The RCMP is not in possession of a Departmental Security Report that analyses the risks outlined in the 2004 study that explains why these risks are no longer applicable”.

The RCMP has no record of the analysis of how these risks have become “no longer applicable”. The RCMP has brushed aside a 91 page RCMP Expert Panel Report with one sentence for which they have no supporting documentation, research or data.

Although the 2017 RCMP report says that the Halifax risks identified in the 2004 RCMP report have now evaporated, events have proven them wrong.

In the last six months, Dartmouth has experienced it’s first earthquakes; Nova Scotia is in lock down for the first time ever due to a Global pandemic; months ago coastal communities including Halifax suffered terrific damage from Hurricane Dorian; and Nova Scotia has just experienced the worst shooting in Canada’s history. To say that the risks in the Halifax Region have all vanished is just not true.

Other federal, provincial and municipal governments do not agree that the risks to Halifax Regional Municipality “are no longer applicable”.

Halifax Regional Council recently declared a “climate emergency” as “a serious and urgent threat”. “HRM staff report identifies risks to Halifax and other coastal communities that include threats to physical infrastructure like buildings, roads, bridges and railways, energy supplies, water and wastewater infrastructure, damage from flooding, high winds, saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion. “

Why is the RCMP moving all of our safety eggs to one basket?

The Government of Nova Scotia Department of Environment says the risk is higher for coastal communities. “We can expect warmer average temperatures, rising sea levels, and more-frequent extreme storms. Nova Scotia is particularly susceptible to these changes because most of our population lives along the coastline, and much of our infrastructure is located in vulnerable areas. ”

Why move the OCC to a “coastal community” resulting on both of Nova Scotia’s OCCs being in that same coastal community? This is the reason that the 2004 RCMP Expert Panel issued the warnings about co-locating in HRM. Nothing has changed.

 says “The Atlantic region is subject winter cyclonic storms, tropical cyclones and other severe weather events. There is evidence of recent trends toward greater extremes and higher frequencies of such events. “ Weather threats are getting worse and more often.

Even the latest report of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) says emergency communications systems “face more risks and threats than ever before”.

What the RCMP are not making pubic is that Public Works Canada has threatened the RCMP with substantial fines ($164,100 per year, from an ATIP) if they continue to refuse to allow Public Works Canada to rent vacant the space to other government departments. This space has been vacant for seven years already.

The selection process for a new OCC should be done over again with only safety of Nova Scotians, RCMP officers, and first responders as the main priority……….. not preferred office space. The safety of emergency communications was not the first priority in this RCMP decision and it should be.

I have shared this ATIP response and my concerns with Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Commissioner of the RCMP, and the federal Minister of Public Safety, Hon Bill Blair. Please feel free to ask them how the risks originally identified by the RCMP have suddenly evaporated.

If you need more information, I have a considerable file. I still have two outstanding ATIP requests in the system and I expect those answers soon. RCMP ATIPs are supposed to take 60 days but the RCMP do not always comply with the Access to Information laws. Some RCMP ATIPs have taken over two years to get a response, and then are heavily redacted.

Thank you,


Bill Casey
Former Member of Parliament
Mobile 902 397 1305
billcasey45@hotmail.com






The ATIP response below says that the RCMP does have a copy of the Report on Feasibility Study of RCMP H Division Operational Communication Centre dated August 31st, 2017. This is the 2017 report that says security risks “are no longer a risk” and brushes aside the three warnings in the 2004 report.





ATIP Response



Constance Carlotti – Access to Information Act request A-2019-04092 / F124 Clarification Required



From: Constance Carlotti

To: bill.casey@parl.gc.ca


Date: 2019-11-07 2:12 PM

Subject: Access to Information Act request A-2019-04092 / F124 Clarification Required



Page 1 of 2



Dear Mr. CASEY:

This is in response to your request under the Access to Information Act, which was received by this office on June 7, 2019, for:

Re: Report on Feasibility Study of RCMP H Division Operational Communications Centre.

I respectfully request a copy of the RCMP Departmental Security Report that analyses the risks outlined in the 2004 study and explains why these risks are no longer applicable. I am also requesting any research and data that resulted in the conclusion that eco-disasters and terrorism are no longer a threat, and why it is now acceptable to eliminate the geographic separation between the two 9-1-1 Communications Centres in Nova Scotia..

I am the analyst responsible for your file.

Please note that after a thorough search for the requested information, the RCMP is not in possession 
of a Departmental Security Report that analyses the risks outlined in the 2004 study that explains why these risks are no longer applicable.

I did locate a Report on Feasibility Study of RCMP H Division Operational Communication Centre dated August 31st, 2017. This report reviews the H Division Occupational Communication Centre (OCC) H Division to examine and make recommendations on the sustainability of the OCC H Division facility beyond the next ten years.

Please let me know if you would like a copy of this report. Additional documents retrieved that are relevant to this request is a Briefing Note as well an Additional Information Technology Report and RCMP Physical Security Stands.

Your file will remain open in our office for the next 30 days. If we have not received a response by December 9, 2019, this file will be closed. Note, that we will not close a file if we are able to process it. For example, if you are unable to provide consent of other individuals for the release of their personal information; we may still be able to review the file; however, information released to you will be limited.

Please be advised that you are entitled to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner concerning the processing of your request within 60 days after the day that you become aware that grounds for a complaint exist. In the event you decide to avail yourself of this right, your notice of complaint should be addressed to:

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada 30 Victoria Street, 7th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3

file:///C:/Users/000189951/AppData/Local/Temp/1/XPgrpwise/5DC42639NCR_LEIKIN… 2019-12-12

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact the undersigned at 1-855-629-5877 or ATIPB@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Please quote the file number appearing on this letter.

Regards,

Ms. Constance Carlotti




Access to Information and Privacy Branch

Mailstop #61
73

Leikin Drive
Ottawa,

Ontario K1A 0R2 constance.carlotti@rcmp-grc.gc.ca


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Nova Scotia Deserves the Highest Standards

There is no question that the front line RCMP officers and first responders went above and beyond the call of duty last week during the tragic shootings. They were faced with an unprecedented and unimaginable situation where the culprit made himself invisible to the police, and conducted his terror over sixteen locations across northern Nova Scotia.

When the final details come out, I believe that we will hear about some incredible acts of bravery by those officers. Certainly Constable Heidi Stevenson did not hesitate to put herself in harms way in an effort protect the public and stop this deranged shooter. She lost her life in that effort, and we will not forget her courageous act.

Looking forward, every step that can be taken to prevent another unexpected calamity like this must be taken to ensure the safest possible situation for the public, first responders and RCMP officers.

For three years, RCMP officials have been doggedly determined to ignore their own 2004 RCMP Expert Panel warnings about emergency communications. Against the repeated warnings by this RCMP expert panel, the RCMP is planning to co-locate both major police 911 emergency communication centers in Dartmouth.

In addition to ignoring the RCMP Expert Panel findings, the leading authorities in 911 emergency communications rank “geographic separation” as the primary safety issue. At this moment, Nova Scotia meets that primary safety requirement, but the RCMP plan to eliminate it.

We will then have all of our emergency communication eggs in one basket.

As a result, emergency communications in Nova Scotia is taking a step backwards at a time of unprecedented emergency events. Since January, Nova Scotia has been surprised by earthquakes in Dartmouth, a global pandemic, and the horror of an unprecedented series of murders.

There are more risks now than ever before and they are not predictable. Now is not the time to experiment with a plan that does not meet standards.

I intend to keep pressing the RCMP officials to comply with their own very specific safety warnings, and to conform to the primary safety standards established by the leading international emergency communications experts.

RCMP emergency communications must be the highest priority in order to protect the public and first responders, including RCMP officers themselves.

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Another Letter Requesting Clarification on Why Evidence is Being Ignored

April 9, 2020.

Commissioner Brenda Lucki,
Commissioner of the RCMP
Ottawa, Ontario.

Assistant RCMP Commissioner Bergerman,
RCMP Commanding Officer for Nova Scotia,
Halifax, N.S.

Good Morning;

The attached quote from FEMA indicates that it is not safe to locate a major 911 police emergency call center between a DND Explosives Depot and a dock for foreign nuclear-powered submarines.

To quote the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards:

 “Continuity facilities should have sufficient distance between the facility location and other facilities that are potential sources of disruptions or threats such as hazardous materials sites, nuclear power plants.”

 On one end of Dartmouth is ultimate “hazardous materials site”……the DND Explosives Storage Depot.  On the other end of Dartmouth is the DND dock that hosts nuclear-powered submarines from the U.S., Britain and France.

Below is a CBC Article from 2017, which quotes a DND official:

  1. “A fire is Likely to occur at the Halifax explosives depot”
  2. In the event of a fire, a five mile radius would be evacuated including “all of Burnside“.

Such an emergency evacuation plan would mean that the proposed RCMP 911 police call centre for Nova Scotia would be evacuated at the beginning of a potential disaster.  Even before the proposed 911 call center is open there is a plan to evacuate it.       DND recognizes the same risks as the FEMA report.

I assume that a similar evacuation plan exits for the DND nuclear-submarine base nearby.  DND recently completed a one million dollar decontamination facility on site for these foreign vessels.

The RCMP Division Headquarters would also fall under the Burnside evacuation plan leaving Nova Scotia RCMP leadership AND communication for the province gravely compromised at the beginning of such a disaster.

Currently Nova Scotia has two major police 911 communication centers separated by 100 kilometres.   This meets the standards of all of the leading authorities in this field.  Clustering the two centers together does not meet those standards of safety.

I respectfully request that the decision to co-locate these centers in the same community be stopped and reviewed. The process should start all over again with safety of Nova Scotians and RCMP officers as the priority focus.

Again, it would give the people of Nova Scotia comfort if the RCMP would make public even one report that indicates that it is now safe to cluster the two major 911 call centres in one community.   I have provided the RCMP with four credible reports stating that this proposal is contrary to these safety standards.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

Bill Casey

Former Member of Parliament
902 397 1305

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2019
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 2009
The National Emergency Number Association 911 (NENA) 2015
The Expert Report Commissioned by the RCMP  2004

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RCMP Information Debunked

I do not believe that two very senior RCMP officials would knowingly give the elected representatives of three levels of government wrong information. I can only assume that these senior officials were given wrong information and they used that information when they made the decision to concentrate the two 911 communication centres in Dartmouth.
The attached letter from the Honourable Carl Urquhart, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for New Brunswick proves their stated position is wrong.
The decision was based on wrong info and it should be reversed.
Attached is a letter sent last week to the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP. Attached is also a copy of Minister Urquhart’s letter to me.

Commissioner Brenda Lucki
Commissioner of the RCMP
Ottawa, Canada.

Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman
RCMP Commanding Officer, Nova Scotia.
Dartmouth, N.S.

Decision Made With Wrong Information

Good Afternoon

The decision to co-locate the two major Nova Scotia 911 police communication call centers together in downtown Dartmouth was made with wrong information and should be reversed.

In August of 2018, you may recall that I met with a very senior RCMP official at the Delta Hotel in Halifax. I was assured at that meeting that co-location now was safe because “technology now allows the RCMP to flip a switch and transfer the Nova Scotia 911 calls to New Brunswick”.

In February 2019, the Mayor of Colchester County, Christine Blair, the Mayor of Truro, Bill Mills, Stephanie McNeil from MLA Zann’s office and me as MP met with another very senior official from the RCMP at the Holiday Inn in Truro.

That Senior RCMP Officer told us exactly the same thing. Co-locating the 911 call centers was now safe because….”technology now allows the RCMP to flip a switch and transfer the Nova Scotia 911 calls to New Brunswick”.

Attached is a copy of a letter from the Honourable Carl Urquhart, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for New Brunswick which debunks that statement. Minister Urquhart served in the RCMP and Fredericton Police Service for a total of 33 years, and has also served as a volunteer firefighter. He has first hand knowledge of emergency response systems.

Regarding the notion that 911 calls from Nova Scotia could be instantly transferred to New Brunswick, Minister Urquhart’s letter says “there are no such ideas or discussions in New Brunswick” and that New Brunswick is in the process of “implementing technical and operational changes” until 2023, and therefore “the province remains jurisdictionally and provincially focused”. There is no backup in New Brunswick.

With the co-location of the two 911 emergency call centers, Nova Scotia would lose the geographic separation required by all leading 911 emergency response authorities for a safe 911 communication system. Again, I have provided the RCMP with four reports by the leading professionals in this field. If the RCMP can provide even one credible report that says that geographic separation is no longer a requirement for a safe 911 system, please send me a copy. My first request for this information was in February 2019 at the Holiday Inn meeting.

Clearly the RCMP senior management made this decision with wrong information. Considering this fact, and that we are in the middle of an unprecedented global corona virus pandemic, I urge you to reverse the decision to co-locate the two major 911 emergency communication centers together in downtown Dartmouth. Now is not the time to experiment.

Sincerely,

Bill Casey
Former Member of Parliament

902 397 1305.                          

 

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Was the RCMP wrong when they said “the risks are too high” …. or is the RCMP wrong now when they ignore their own strongly worded warnings?

This letter was sent to all Nova Scotia MPs, MLAs and Senators on March 30, 2020.

———

Good Morning Honourable Nova Scotia Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislature and Senators

The RCMP is downgrading our emergency communication system in Nova Scotia at a time when Nova Scotia is experiencing new safety risks from earthquakes, rising sea levels and a global pandemic.

Attached are short comments from the three leading authorities in the field of emergency communication which all say that “geographic separation and redundancy” are the standard for a safe 911 system. Nova Scotia meets that high standard now as it has one major 911 communication facility deliberately located 100 kilometers from the other. We could soon lose that standard of safety.

The RCMP is proposing to concentrate both 911 emergency call centers in downtown Dartmouth. Furthermore, the RCMP Emergency leadership and management offices are in the same facility. If this part of Dartmouth is quarantined or closed, both major communication centers and the emergency leadership RCMP offices will all be compromised.

The Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Services directed us to the three leading emergency communications organizations in North America. Attached are quotes from their safety manuals. They can’t all be wrong.

In addition, attached are quotes from the 2004 study authored by an RCMP Expert Panel on this very issue. Although this 2004 RCMP study says that the “risks are too high” to co-locate these 911 centers in HRM, recent earthquakes, rising sea levels and a pandemic event have proven that the risks are even greater now.

Was the RCMP wrong when they said “the risks are too high” …. or is the RCMP wrong now when they ignore their own strongly worded warnings?

Based on the standards required by the experts, Nova Scotia will have a sub-standard 911 emergency communication system if we lose the “geographic separation and redundancy”. If this lowering of safety standards is a concern to you or your constituents, please contact federal government officials to call for a reassessment of this decision based one the new circumstances facing Nova Scotia. This will affect emergency services for the entire province from Sydney to Yarmouth.

Thank you,
Bill Casey
Former Member of Parliament
902 397 1305

Attached images:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 2009


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2015

The 2004 Expert Report Commissioned by the RCMP

 

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The Wrong Decision for Very Wrong Reasons

Attached is another letter sent to Hon Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety, and to Commissioner Brenda Lucki, Commissioner of the RCMP. It explains why the RCMP decided to move the Emergency 911 Police Communication Center to their Headquarters Building in Dartmouth. The decision was made to solve a real estate problem and nothing to do with your safety.

 

From: Bill Casey
Sent: March 20, 2020 12:44 PM
Subject: The Wrong Decision for the Wrong Reasons

 

Honourable Bill Blair,
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,
Ottawa, Ontario.

Ms. Brenda Lucki,
Commissioner of the RCMP,
Ottawa, Ontario.

 

The Wrong Decision for Very Wrong Reasons

 

Dear Minister Blair and Commissioner Lucki

The safety of the public and of RCMP officers should have been the number one priority when choosing the location for the RCMP 911 Emergency Call Center but it was not.

Below are three quotes taken directly from internal RCMP documents received through Access to Information that confirm that the RCMP are occupying empty space that they are “not entitled to” according to Public Works. In these quotes it is clear that for seven years the RCMP building had significant vacant, unused space at significant cost.

The decision to move the 911 Emergency Call Center to downtown Dartmouth was because of pressure to fill this empty space…. nothing to do with safety.

One quote says that the RCMP has 2365 sq meters of vacant space that they are “not entitled to”. At $547 per sq meter this is a huge waste of taxpayer money. From these RCMP documents, it is clear that Public Works was pressuring the RCMP to pay a surcharge for the vacant space, or share it with another government department (Transport, Coast Guard, DND etc).

Instead of sharing the empty space with another government department, the RCMP pretended to do an objective assessment of six sites and arrived at the decision to concentrate the RCMP 911 Emergency Call Center in downtown Dartmouth, near the other major police 911 Emergency Call Center, also in downtown Dartmouth. This breaks the number one rule for continuity of service in the event of a disaster…. geographic separation and redundancy.

The current coronavirus pandemic is another wake up call that this decision puts the people of Nova Scotia and RCMP officers at risk. A quarantine in one part of downtown Dartmouth means that most emergency communications around all of Nova Scotia would be lost. RCMP, Fire, Police and ambulance calls will be interrupted at a time when they are need most. Why do this?

The world has changed and this decision should be changed immediately. A new plan that puts the safety of all Nova Scotians first should be adopted. The fact that the RCMP prefers not to share the vacant space in their building as recommended by Public Works should not take priority over the safety of the all Nova Scotians.

Thank you.

Bill Casey
Former Member of Parliament
902 397 1305

 

Quotes taken from internal RCMP Documents

Quote 1

There is significant pressure from public works to decrease H-HQ footprint. Public Works has advised the building has 236 5 m² more space than entitled to.

Quote 2

There is potential for this review to lead to departments being held accountable for vacant space they are not entitled to. This may result in a financial charge or sharing of workspace with other departments. H division HQ currently has 145 vacant spots

Quote 3

With the anticipated cost to H division having to reimburse PSPC for excess space in the current HQ building the current rental rate at $547 per square metre cost would be $164,100 annually over ten years.

 

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Not A Level Playing Field….RCMP Concentration of Emergency 911 Police Call Centers in Dartmouth

You be the judge.  Check out the letter and the charts and tell me if you think that this was an honest and fair competition.


Honourable Bill Blair,

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,

Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Ms. Brenda Lucki,

Commissioner of the RCMP,

Ottawa, Ontario.

                                                            Re: RCMP OCC Emergency Call Center Site Competition

 Dear Minister Blair and Commissioner Lucki

 

No intelligent person could look at the 2017 RCMP Feasibility Study chart below and conclude that it was a fair and legitimate competition.

 Attachment A is the Estimated Cost Options of the six competing sites.  Option 4 is the RCMP preferred site in the Dartmouth RCMP Headquarters.  The other five are in Colchester County.  You will note that the five Colchester sites have a significant amount charged for Estimated Property Rental and/or a charge for “Real Property Costing.”

Option 4, Dartmouth,  has “zero rent” and “zero charge” for Real Property Costing.   No facility charge whatsoever for the Dartmouth option.   The RCMP says it is “free space”, but it isn’t.     

 

However, Attachment B  is the “Occupancy Instrument” from the Landlord,  Public Works Canada which states that the “TOTAL ANNUAL RENT” rent for that Dartmouth RCMP building is  $10,498.333.40  per year.   This works out to be $547 for every square meter including the space proposed for the Emergency Communications Center.  It the most expensive office space in Nova Scotia.

Treasury Board says that the rent is $547 per square meter.   RCMP says it is free for this competition.

 

Further, on Attachment  A the RCMP have added an arbitrary expense in amount of $1,641,000 “Real Property Costing”  to all of the Colchester options, but none for the Dartmouth option.   Again this distorts the competition by adding a fabricated $1,641,000 dollars of expense to the Colchester options.  This makes this assessment of the options illegitimate and it makes it impossible for the other options to compete.

Distortion 1 is that the Dartmouth RCMP building is free.   Not true.   The building cost $113,000,000 to build in 2013.   Public Works assigns a Rental Rate of $547 for every square meter.

Distortion 2 is that the RCMP have added $1,641,000 of illegitimate expense to all other options except Dartmouth in order to make them non-competitive.

If these distortions are corrected, suddenly the other options are more competitive than Dartmouth.   Option 6 was proposed by the Millbrook First Nation and their proposal was disqualified because of the false  “Free Rent” in Dartmouth and the distorted $1,641,000 expense added to their proposal.  

At a time when the government is committed to making available economic opportunities to First Nations, this process illegitimately disqualified their option. 

As this decision could put all Nova Scotians at risk, I respectfully request that you start this “competition” over again but this time with no predetermine conclusion.   Surely the earthquakes in Dartmouth and the corona virus make it clear that the two major police communication 911 centers should not be concentrated in one community that could be shut down on short notice.

 

Sincerely,

 

Blll Casey

Former M.P.

 902 397 1305

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