MEDIA RELEASE: Houston Government Declines Funding That Would Help Keep 100-series Highways Safe

DARTMOUTH – People traveling the 100-series highways in Cape Breton this summer will be less safe due to the province’s decision to not fund extra police officers within the Cape Breton Regional Police Service.

“The RCMP has announced it is turning over responsibility for patrolling the 100-series highways in Cape Breton Regional Municipality to the CBRPS this summer,” said NSGEU President Sandra Mullen. “However, the regional police service does not have enough officers or the required training to patrol these highways. The police chief and CBRM have reached out to the province asking for additional resources but so far those requests have been ignored leaving Cape Bretoners and visitors who travel those highways less safe.”

There has been multiple arrangements between the CBRM, RCMP and CBRPS over the years to ensure there is coverage to patrol the 100-series highways and keep the public safe. About a year ago the RCMP exercised a provision in their agreement to remove services, giving the CBRPS a year to prepare for the transition. Since that time CBRPS Chief Robert Walsh and CBRM have asked the Houston government for additional resources to prepare to the changeover. To date the Department of Justice and Premier Houston has not provided any support.

“The NSGEU represents officers in the CBRPS and they tell us they are getting very concerned about what is going to happen when the RCMP removes their units from the highways,” said Mullen. “The police service is already stretched thin and by adding the 100-series highways to their list of responsibilities it means they will be pulled away from their traditional patrols within communities. This could mean longer response times to people who need police support.”

It is estimated that the cost to properly police the highways, additional officers, equipment and training, would be $700,000. The position of the province is that CBRM is responsible for funding their regional police force. Previously the province did provide some funding to support the integration of some CBRPS into the RCMP traffic unit, so there is some precedent for additional funding.

“NSGEU members want to ask the newly appointed Justice Minister what cost is too high to ensure the highways in Cape Breton are safe and patrolled? What cost is too high to make sure the police force has the resources they need to keep the public safe?” said Mullen. “People in Cape Breton deserve to know the police will be there for them, when they need them, whether in their neighbourhoods or on their highways. It’s time for the Premier and Justice Minister to support the people of Cape Breton.”


The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents nearly 36,000 workers who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with NSGEU President Sandra Mullen, please contact:

Lucas Wide, NSGEU Communications Officer,
902-483-0662 (cell)

Related Articles

Start typing and press Enter to search