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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