The furor and fuss about RCMP misdeeds is akin to tilting at windmills.
The RCMP is a federal entity and is not accountable to the Province of B.C. Period. Their authority lies in Ottawa and the head of the RCMP is essentially a member of government, answerable only to Parliament.
Calls for the province to not renew the current RCMP contract for another 20 years is a non-starter. The renewal is pretty much a done deal and for a very good reason. Money. There may be promises made to placate the masses but they are unenforceable.
We had a BC Provincial Police force, with towns subcontracting their services, until Aug. 15, 1950, when it was disbanded without explanation and policing duties turned over to the RCMP.
Municipalities ranted and raved in protest, but just like the current imposition of the HST –without discussion or warning – it was done.
The reason draws another parallel with the HST. Ottawa bribed the province. For eliminating the BCPP, Ottawa offered to pay 30 percent of the cost of policing.
Rent-a-cop is cheaper than having your own force. Shopping malls rent security staff for the same reason. The only difference is the malls can choose from a variety of providers, whereas the province has one choice.
Public trust in the RCMP came before the invention of the video camera. Until then, it was assumed the civilian was always wrong and the RCMP always spoke the truth.
Current events prove otherwise.
Miscreant RCMP are rarely fired and never jailed, so one can assume they are quietly transferred to another town. How many of these bad apples have been sent to Surrey and White Rock from other jurisdictions? The RCMP do not have to tell you.
For the majority of fine RCMP that really care about the people they serve and try to protect, I admire their dedication and tenacity. I’m sure it wavers sometimes, but then it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re led by turkeys.
J. Edwards, Surrey