Winnipeg police chief looking for ways to cover off pension increase

Winnipeg's Police Chief Danny Smyth says the service didn’t see a pension increase coming and he is looking for a way to cover it off.

A second quarter finance report shows an un-budgeted pension cost of $5.7 million following a revaluation.

Markus Chambers, chair of the Winnipeg Police Board, said without help from city coffers there is a potential for layoffs.

Smyth said the added liability was a surprise and he will work with the police board and the city to find a solution.

 “If they put it all on me, it does mean service cuts," Smyth said. "But I want to be clear nobody has come to me and asked me about service cuts. We’re all looking for a path forward that avoids service cuts but still puts the city on a balance.”

Earlier this week, Scott Gillingham, chair of the finance committee, told CTV News the pension costs fall under the police budget.

Smyth attributes the added cost to a pension holiday taken by the city 20 years ago.