Report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security presented to the House of Commons on June 17, 2021
The following is the RCMP Veterans Association’s response to this report:
The RCMP Veterans Association have reviewed the report containing the recommendation to remove the RCMP from Contract Policing as well as Systemic Racism in Policing in Canada. In the final recommendation within the report, it states “consequently, the RCMP may not have the capacity to police areas where they are not familiar with community concerns”.
While the report appears to have been thorough, the decades of underfunding of the RCMP has been completely ignored and is a disservice to the dedicated members who report for duty every day to serve the Canadian population. The RCMP has long been depended upon to stretch its membership extremely thin while numerous additional responsibilities are piled on. The consequences often impact adequate resourcing to provide the level of policing service that is expected.
The roots of the RCMP are entrenched in uniformed policing which later transitioned into the Contract Policing model. From its earliest beginnings the RCMP was tasked with maintaining law and order, enforcing the laws of the day and protecting aboriginal treaty rights. This mandate has continued unabated and with tremendous sacrifice for nearly 150 years. The fact that one organization can communicate and wade through the vast array of legislation, that police work within on a daily basis, while not having to transition though multiple jurisdictional roadblocks is incredibly efficient and effective.
The RCMP is recognized at home and abroad as a key symbol for Canada, operating from coast to coast to coast across 10 million square miles as well as internationally in 27 countries around the world. International Policing could not exist effectively without the presence of front-line contract policing experience. Likewise the Federal Policing role in which the investigative experience gained through traditional front line policing is of substantial value.
It was interesting to note those committee members who oppose Recommendation # 10 are all from contract policing provinces and well aware of the value and service that the RCMP provide. I would submit, contrary to the quotation noted earlier within this message, our front line uniform members are indeed aware of concerns within the communities they serve.
Would those proposing the removal of the RCMP from uniform policing roles also favour their removal from the three northern territories? If so, I cannot find any detailed reference to an alternative policing model within the report.
After decades of neglect, there must be the will to provide an adequate level of funding for the RCMP organization and its dedicated members and bring the force back to a position that justifies the reputation that has been nurtured since 1873. The RCMP Veterans Association may not agree with some of the language and recommendations in the report but accept that change can be warranted. However, the notion of removing the RCMP from Contract Policing is completely short sighted, and would result in the loss of an effective and all encompassing policing model, as well as multi billions of dollars in increased costs. This would be a complete disservice to all Canadians and the communities in which the RCMP serve.
A.P. (Sandy) Glenn
RCMP Veterans Association