04/05/2012 11:14 EDT | Updated 06/05/2012 05:12 EDT

RCMP Pay Hike: Ottawa Surprises B.C. Politicians With Raise

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VANCOUVER - Municipal and provincial politicians in B.C. say they've been caught off guard by Ottawa's decision to offer Mounties a pay raise.

But Attorney General Shirley Bond says the Harper government has reassured her the decision is unlikely to increase costs in B.C. and may, in fact, result in a net benefit.

Bond says the province is asking for a clarification as soon as possible.

The development comes just weeks after six provinces, including B.C., and three territories signed a new 20-year policing deal with Ottawa.

B.C. had threatened to ditch the Mounties and set up its own provincial police force if Ottawa didn't meet its demands for a greater say in how the RCMP manages its local operations.

Langley, B.C., Mayor Peter Fassbender, who sat as an observer, during the talks says he found out about the wage hikes earlier this week and then informed the province.

(CKNW News 980)

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