The Ontario Provincial Police will take over policing of West Nipissing

West Nipissing council voted 6-3 Tuesday night to accept the OPP proposal that will see the West Nipissing Police Service disbanded.

Three members of council had sought a referendum on the issue, but were overruled by the majority.

Mayor Joanne Savage, at Tuesday night’s meeting, pushed for more time to discuss and research the matter, saying the three-week timeline from the presentation of the proposal to the final vote was too quick.

“What’s the fear of getting information?” she asked. “What is the fear of making sure we have a comfort level and get a better understanding? What’s the fear?”

At a public forum on the issue Nov. 22, former council Lise Senecal urged that taxpayers in the community should have a direct voice on the question.

This was the third time since 1999 council has wrestled with the decision, Senecal said at the time.

“In 1999 when we discussed it, we had all the facts, we had the budget, and we worked on it for two years” before deciding to stick with the municipal police service.

According to figures provided to West Nipissing council by the OPP, the municipality would pay between $4.112 million and $4.426 million annually for the first three years starting in 2018.

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