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Alberta announces grant to pay for Coaldale’s policing costs

The provincial government announced on Friday it would be providing the town of Coaldale with an annual grant to cover its policing costs.

Coaldale, located just 10 kilometres east of Lethbridge, signed a policing agreement with the federal government in 2016.

The UCP says since then, the town has been the only municipality in Canada to pay 100 per cent of the cost of its RCMP contract.

Mike Ellis, minister of public safety and emergency services, says the $550,000-a-year grant will “remove a significant financial burden” and protect public safety.

“Alberta’s government is stepping in to ensure the residents of Coaldale are safe and protected with stable and predictable police funding,” he said.

“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure our communities are safe places to live, work and play.”

Coaldale Mayor Jack Van Rijn says the grant will benefit the community for years to come.

“We’ve tried engaging the federal government on this issue, but ever since 2015, our engagement efforts have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

“Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case with our provincial government.”

The UCP says the grant will be adjusted in future years as the overall amount of its municipal policing agreement changes.

Before the introduction of an RCMP detachment in 2016, Coaldale was served by the Lethbridge Regional Police for more than a decade.

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