Wednesday, January 02, 2013
What Do British Columbians Know that the Rest of Canada Doesn't - Yet?
What we know is that the RCMP is rotten, from the top down. The good news is that an increasing percentage of Canadians across the rest of the country is figuring out the same thing.
Perhaps British Columbians know the RCMP better because we have to put up with a lot more of them - over 10,000 in fact, about the same number as in a WWII army division. In effect, we're occupied by a gang of federal thugs with some very nasty tendencies.
From the unexplained bullet in the back of young Ian Bush's skull to the execution of Robert Dziekanski, from a litany of acts of brutality to sexual harassment and other peccadilloes, to the failure of the RCMP to track down Robert Picton, many British Columbians have had their fill of these officers and their ways.
Darryl Plecas, a criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley, said the RCMP is still trying to change the work culture of a force with “so many bullies.”
“There seems to be this incestuous relationship in different places in the RCMP; you look at certain units and they’re filled with people who have been friends forever,” said Plecas. “People have recognized this; you dare not cross them, otherwise they’re going to come after you.”
Plecas said B.C., with several large detachments, has more RCMP officers than anywhere else in the country, which means a larger sample size and therefore more “bullies.”
The anger and distrust we have for the RCMP didn't happen overnight. The plummeting numbers reported by Ipsos Reid happened during Harper's tenure as prime minister. There were troubling signs that Harper had co-opted the force when former Commissioner Zaccardelli seemed to wade into electoral politics, with a dubious mid-campaign corruption investigation into Ralph Goodale that he refused to explain afterward. Who can forget when Harper appointed a life long Tory insider, Bill Elliott, to serve as the RCMP's first civilian Commissioner? With Harper's hands all over it, it's probably no wonder so much rot set in among the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.