To the Immediate Attention of OPP Policed Communities

Dear Colleagues:

AMO held its third OPP Billing Steering Committee meeting today. Senior officials from the OPP’s Municipal Bureau, and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, provided detailed explanations of what the OPP’s proposed billing model is based on and their perspectives on different alternatives.

In particular, the Committee explored the split between provincial and municipal funding for the OPP, and the split between the base costs for municipal policing and costs tied to calls for services.

The Committee is exploring alternatives for OPP cost recovery and learned more about how municipal policing costs are allocated in other provinces, and how some other provinces deal with their billing models. Finally, the Committee started to consider how the impacts of changing model variables could be managed, including implementation such as new provincial mitigation funding, and phasing changes in over time.  

The one thing we know for certain is that change is coming. Through our work, we will be considering options and approaches which will be evaluated against the Committee’s adopted principles.  (These were previously shared but are attached for ease of reference.)

The Committee recognizes that the Province wants to implement a new billing model for 2015.  The Committee intends to complete its work the end of March/early April 2014 and it will meet again on March 21, 2014.

In addition to improving the OPP billing model, Ontario’s municipal governments are keenly aware of the need to control growth in policing costs, and other emergency service costs. Ontario’s municipalities cannot afford to fund emergency services at the expense of the many other programs and services that make Ontario’s communities healthier, safer and more prosperous.  

Together. One voice.

Yours truly,

R.F. (Russ) Powers

AMO OPP Steering Committee’s Principles

Principles: The values which the Steering Committee will apply as it evaluates its review and analysis of possible billing approaches:
  1. Civilian oversight of police services is necessary [in democratic societies].
  2. The OPP is accountable to the municipal governments it serves.
  3. The billing model and the information upon which it rests must be transparent for municipal governments and property taxpayers.
  4. Municipal governments must have some voice as to the level of policing services required and able to pay for (“Pay for say” principle).
  5. Policing is a service to people and property, occupied or unoccupied.
  6. Outcomes need to be acceptable to the different interests of the municipal sector.
  7. A new billing model should be predictable and stable over time.
  8. A new model needs to validate what is included in base costs.
  9. Billing model reform should also include legislative and regulatory change regarding policing.
  10. Capacity to pay is an overarching consideration at local, regional, and provincial levels.  This capacity is measured in part against the provision of other critical services that are vital to a community.
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