police 560Editor,

I’m concerned with comments made by Luke Charbonneau, Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Police Board. At the September 26 council meeting, former Southampton Mayor Art Knechtel delivered a delegation requesting that council obtain a costing and determine if it's fiscally feasible to consider the OPP as a viable alternative for policing in Saugeen Shores.

In response to Knechtel's measured submission, Charbonneau said in part, “I will not accept and can’t even consider the possibility of surrendering local control of another vital municipal institution to the people at Queen’s Park.”

See: A case for an OPP costing presented to council

During a CTV London interview Charbonneau said, “I oppose getting an OPP quote... I oppose even considering going the route of the OPP.”

See: CTV London: Drop the cops?

What do the other members of council think? Charbonneau has every right to voice his displeasure with the folks at Queen's Park but what do his remarks contain in terms of the relevant substance vis-a-vis the costing initiative. Do the citizens of Saugeen Shores not deserve to know what the costing for OPP policing would entail?

I believe this is an important debate and I commend Knechtel for bringing it to the attention of the taxpayers. I call on Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith to meet with council to discuss the issue or does Deputy Mayor Charbonneau have the final say in this matter?

If the residents of Saugeen Shores believe a costing should be obtained, contact your Saugeen Shores Council representative and express your opinion.

Barry Ruhl (OPP Ret.)