(Canada Day Victoria/Facebook)

With less than a month to go before we celebrate 152 years of Canada being one united nation, the capital of British Columbia is experiencing some budget constraints related to these celebrations.

In a letter to the City of Victoria Council, finance chairman of the Victoria and Esquimalt police board Sean Powell stated that the department can no longer cover unfunded expenditures during Canada Day celebrations in the city.

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According to Powell, the costs of policing Canada Day festivities in the downtown core since 2011 has been approximately $122,000, of which the City of Victoria pays $12,000.

“Victoria and Esquimalt provide some additional funding through our core budget under the funding formula for non-recoverable special duties, of which approximately $31,600 goes towards the costs for Canada Day; this leaves VicPD responsible for a balance of $78,400 per year in unfunded expenditures,” says Powell.

“Within the parameters and allocation of the 2019 Budget, we no longer have the capacity to absorb unfunded expenditures.”

These expenditures include police and civilian overtime, supplies and logistics, and B.C. Sheriff services.

Traditionally, the police departments have a budget of $40,000 for special duties – but this amount is meant to cover the costs of policing both Canada Day and military events in Victoria.

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In light of these constraints, Powell has requested either additional funding from the City of Victoria to cover Canada Day policing costs, or consider reducing the scope of the celebrations.

Council is set to discuss this letter, and the police board’s special events budget in their upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, June 6th.

Victoria Buzz has reached out to Barb Desjardins, Esquimalt mayor and lead co-chair of the Victoria and Esquimalt police board, for comment.