MPs support relocating RCMP call centre to N.S. Indigenous community
RCMP officers in uniform are shown in this undated file photo.
OTTAWA -- Canada's minister of Indigenous services is throwing her weight behind a bid to relocate an emergency call centre to a First Nation community in Nova Scotia.
Moving the RCMP operations communication centre from Truro, N.S., to nearby Millbrook First Nation would advance a nation-to-nation relationship and help follow through on recommendations that came out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Jane Philpott said.
Philpott expressed her support in a letter she sent to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on Jan. 24.
"Announcing this move will signal to communities across Canada our commitment to rebuild the nation-to-nation relationship," she said.
"I am confident that as one of the most prosperous communities in Canada, the Millbrook First Nation can support the successful relocation and operation of the operations communication centre."
The Truro facility employs about 55 workers and is one of Nova Scotia's two major emergency call centres, with the other located 100 kilometres away in the Halifax area.
Chief Bob Gloade said the Millbrook First Nation government approached the RCMP last summer about the move, which he said would be a win-win for everyone involved.
"There's an existing building that was previously a call centre and if that's not suitable then we would build a new building to their specs," Gloade said.
Liberal MP Bill Casey, who represents the Truro area in Parliament, said the Mounties decided about two years ago that the call centre's current site in Truro was obsolete and a move to Halifax was being considered.
Casey said relocating the facility close to the province's other call centre would defeat the purpose of having separate centres that could cover for each other in case an emergency took one off-line.
"The No. 1 rule is redundancy," he said in support of Millbrook. "I believe it's in the interest of public safety. To me it's the right thing to do."
The Nova Scotia RCMP did not immediately reply to a request for comment.