RCMP: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

SOURCE:  Wikipedia, 2020-05-12  |  Controversies_and_criticism

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC); literally 'Royal Gendarmerie of Canada'; colloquially known as the "Mounties", and internally as the "Force") is the federal and national police service of Canada. The RCMP provides law enforcement at the federal level. It also provides provincial policing in eight of Canada's provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan, i.e. all except Ontario and Quebec) and local policing on contract basis in the three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon) and more than 150 municipalities, 600 aboriginal communities, and three international airports. The RCMP does not provide active provincial or municipal policing in Ontario or Quebec. However, all members of the RCMP have jurisdiction as a peace officer in all parts of Canada, including Ontario and Quebec.

Despite the name, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is no longer an actual mounted police force, with horses only being used at ceremonial events. The predecessor NWMP and RNWMP had relied on horses for transport for most of their history, though the RNWMP was switching to automobiles at the time of the merger.

As Canada's national police force, the RCMP is primarily responsible for enforcing federal laws throughout Canada while general law and order including the enforcement of the criminal code and applicable provincial legislation is constitutionally the responsibility of the provinces and territories. Larger cities may form their own municipal police departments.

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, maintain provincial forces: the Ontario Provincial Police and Sûreté du Québec. The other eight provinces contract policing responsibilities to the RCMP. The RCMP provides front-line policing in those provinces under the direction of the provincial governments. When Newfoundland joined the confederation in 1949, the RCMP entered the province and absorbed the then Newfoundland Ranger Force, which patrolled most of Newfoundland's rural areas. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary patrols urban areas of the province. In the territories, the RCMP is the sole territorial police force. Many municipalities throughout Canada contract to the RCMP. Thus, the RCMP polices at the federal, provincial, and municipal level. In several areas of Canada, it is the only police force.

The RCMP is responsible for an unusually large breadth of duties. Under their federal mandate, the RCMP police throughout Canada, including Ontario and Quebec (albeit under smaller scales there). Federal operations include: enforcing federal laws including commercial crime, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, border integrity, organized crime, and other related matters; providing counter-terrorism and domestic security; providing protection services for the Canadian Monarch, governor general, prime minister, their families and residences, and other ministers of the Crown, visiting dignitaries, and diplomatic missions; and participating in various international policing efforts.

Under provincial and municipal contracts the RCMP provides front-line policing in all areas outside of Ontario and Quebec that do not have an established local police force. There are detachments located in small villages in the far north, remote First Nations reserves, and rural towns, but also larger cities such as Surrey, British Columbia (population 468,251). There, support units investigate for their own detachments, and smaller municipal police forces. Investigations include major crimes, homicides, forensic identification, collision forensics, police dogs, emergency response teams, explosives disposal, and undercover operations. Under its National Police Services branch the RCMP supports all police forces in Canada via the Canadian Police Information Centre, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Canadian Firearms Program, and the Canadian Police College.

The RCMP Security Service was a specialized political intelligence and counterintelligence branch with national security responsibilities, replaced by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984, following revelations of illegal covert operations relating to the Quebec separatist movement. CSIS [see note aiDeon0O in my raw file] is not part of the RCMP, but is its own entity.

Controversies and Criticism

American historian Andrew Graybill has argued that the Mounted Police historically resembled the Texas Rangers in many ways. He argues that each protected the established order by confining and removing Indians, by tightly controlling the mixed blood peoples (the African Americans in Texas and the Métis in Canada), assisted the large-scale ranchers against the small-scale ranchers and farmers who fenced the land, and broke the power of labour unions that tried to organize the workers of industrial corporations.

The RCMP have been involved in training and logistically supporting the Haitian National Police since 1994, a controversial matter in Canada considering allegations of widespread human rights violations on the part of the HNP. Some Canadian activist groups have called for an end to the RCMP training. The RCMP has also provided training overseas in Iraq and other peace-keeping missions.

In October 2016, the RCMP issued an apology for harassment, discrimination, and sexual abuse of female officers and civilian members. Additionally they set aside a $100 million fund to compensate these victims. Over 20,000 current and past female employees that were employed after 1974 are eligible.

In 2019 the Guardian made public, that RCMP planned to use deadly force against protesters, to grant a gas company access to First nation Wet'suwet'en lands.

Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the civilian complaints review body

SOURCE:  Wikipedia, 2020-05-12

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC) is an independent Canadian government agency responsible for examining complaints of improper on-duty conduct by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The CRCC was established in 2013 as part of the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act, which amended the existing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to enhance accountability mechanisms within the RCMP. The CRCC was previously known as the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), which was established in 1988. The current Chairperson of the CRCC is Michelaine Lahaie. She was appointed to that position on January 2, 2019.

Additional Reading

  • [CBC.ca, 2022-09-04] RCMP feared that Mounties might leak operational plans to convoy protesters: documents.  'The potential exists for serious insider threats,' says the Feb. 10 advisory.

  • [bc.CTVNews, 2021-12-09] B.C. sex assault victim gets apology, no justice 6 years after RCMP failed to investigate attack.

  • [CBC.ca, 2021-11-22] Judge releases journalists arrested by RCMP during enforcement of pipeline injunctionAmber Bracken's lawyer told judge photojournalist was well known to both Coastal GasLink and RCMP.

  • [Ricochet.media, 2021-11-22] Open letter: Media calls on Trudeau government to halt RCMP violations of press freedom.  Media outlets and organizations from across Canada are calling for immediate action from the minister of public safety.  |  The national police force has repeatedly acted well beyond the law when dealing with members of the media, in defiance of court rulings.  |  As Canada and its democratic and civic institutions contend with and promise to redress their roles in the oppression and dispossession of Indigenous people on their land, journalists have a unique and express duty to bear witness to and comprehensively cover news events of consequence.

  • [bc.CTVNews.ca, 2021-10-14] Charges possible against RCMP officer in Kamloops arrest after false report.

  • [CBC.ca, 2021-10-13] RCMP says it implemented 22 watchdog recommendations - but status of dozens of complaints still unknown.  Civilian Review and Complaints Commission says it has no way of knowing whether RCMP followed through. The RCMP says it has implemented about 22 recommendations made by the civilian watchdog agency over the last fiscal year, but the status of dozens more recommendations regarding Mountie misconduct is not known. The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC) is called upon hundreds of times a year to investigate public complaints about RCMP activity, ranging from claims of bad behaviour to allegations of botched investigations. If the CRCC concludes a finding of wrongdoing is founded, it can make recommendations to the RCMP, although they are not binding. ...

  • [Ricochet.media, 2021-09-29] 'Unlawful' RCMP actions at Fairy Creek harm court's reputation, says judge who quashed injunction.  B.C. government now in the hot seat, as court withdraws from 'dispute between citizens and government.'

  • [Straight.com, 2021-09-29] B.C. judge won't extend Fairy Creek injunction because RCMP conduct sullies the reputation of the court.  Mounties enforcing a court order continued to wear thin-blue line patches in defiance of their bosses' instructions.

  • [CBC.ca, 2021-09-23] Lawsuit alleging 'systemic negligence' of bullying, harassment claims in RCMP moves ahead.  Federal Court rejects Crown arguments in favour of ending the lawsuit. A massive $1.1 billion lawsuit  [local copy] against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police alleging "systemic negligence" in cases of bullying and intimidation in the ranks has cleared another hurdle. Earlier this week, a judge dismissed Crown arguments in favour of de-certifying a class action claim alleging that internal remedies within the RCMP for complaints of bullying and harassment are ineffective. The claim says that such remedies are tainted because they depend on the chain of command, which is often made up of people who were either responsible for the offending behaviour or acted to protect others. "At the core of our claim is the fact that for decades, RCMP members haven't been able to unionize so there has been no really effective manner for members who have experienced bullying and harassment to seek redress," said lawyer Megan B. McPhee  [local copy  |  Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers P.C.], who is acting for the plaintiffs. ...

  • Return to Persagen.com