City of Cold Lake council recently discussed a request from RCMP to expand memberships at the Cold Lake Cenovus Wellness Centre gym due to space limitations at the current Cold Lake RCMP detachment gym.Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

During the March 19 City of Cold Lake corporate priorities meeting, CAO Kevin Nagoya highlighted the RCMP’s request, stating, “The RCMP is requesting memberships at the Cold Lake Cenovus Wellness Centre, due to the fact that as they’re continuing to expand, adding new bodies and the requirements within the facility continue to grow, they’re looking for a bigger facility to use.”  

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland saw the request as a positive but wondered about the logistics and if RCMP officers who were using the gym could make arrests or respond to issues that arise while they are there.  

“I look at this as a positive. You’ve got the police working out in the Energy Centre, if all the members were to go there, at any given time you might have two or three police members per day in there,” said Copeland. 

Coun. Bill Parker expressed support for the request, noting, “A lot of the requirements for the RCMP is to maintain their physical abilities… so I think they would welcome some assistance.” 

However, Coun. Chris Vining and Coun. Vicky Lefebvre expressed concern about the City taking on responsibilities that might fall under the RCMP’s purview.  

Vining stated, “I think they would be welcome to buy a membership because we do have a rate for group memberships that they can purchase on behalf of the detachment.” 

Lefebvre agreed with Vining, saying, “I think if we do it for one, we have to do it for all. And if we don’t do it for our staff, I’m wondering why we would do it for an outside entity that’s kind of contracted by the City. I just worry if we open this up, then we’ll have to open it up to the rest. I do think they should get a discount on some sort.” 

Coun. Bob Mattice proposed a motion for a trial period of one year to provide free memberships to RCMP members at the Wellness Centre, with a request for usage statistics to assess the impact and cost. 

A decision regarding the request will be made at an upcoming council meeting. 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 02, 2024 at 09:41

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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