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The Commissioner: Maybe ‘he’ should do the right thing?

Feb 03

The news headline on almost every channel and in every newspaper today (3/2/15) features the sudden resignation of Conservative Foreign Minister, John Baird.  He is gracefully slipping out of the public eye before the upcoming election.  I won’t speculate on the outcome of the National Election, but I will wonder out loud if the Commissioner should follow along before his inept management of the Force is “outed” by your newly acquired (potential) power to do so?

If you are somewhere around thirty years of age you probably don’t remember the days when the Commissioner and the organization were more respected by the Canadian public.  This is not to say that the “outfit” was perfect, it still had its’ share of bad publicity, and was criticized in Parliament.  However, the men in charge commanded respect from both the Canadian public and the membership.

The former Commissioner (1987-1994) Norm Inkster was a “member’s member” whose straight ahead approach earned not only the membership’s respect but also that of the country.  His successor Phil Murray (1994-2000) headed up the organization during difficult times of budget cuts and government interference.  He was also greatly respected for being genuine and not wearing a “political face”.  In contrast, the civilian William Elliott who is remembered for ducking responsibility and for being at the helm during several national embarrassments including poor investigations, reckless use of the Taser, and perjury on the stand.

Mr. Elliott’s predecessors, the first female Commissioner, Beverly Busson (2006-2007) and Guiliano Zaccardelli (2000-2006) distinguished their careers by being remembered as the two who triggered the Force’s downward slide.

In the “chair of honour” now, sits Mr. Paulson, under whose leadership the “outfit” has lost much of its’ own membership’s confidence; to say nothing of the nation’s.  The once proud RCMP, in my humble opinion, has never seen darker days.  Members are breaking the law, committing suicide, continuing to mishandle investigations, and sexually assaulting each other on a regular basis.

Do you suppose the present government has any motivation to “clean house” and get the “outfit” back on track?  Neither do I!  The Prime Minister would have to take his Deputy Minister of Public Safety (Mr. Paulson) aside and read the “riot act” to him; making it quite clear that his job depended on repairing broken policies and systems; and getting rid of the “dead wood” in the Senior Executive positions, not to continue excusing and defending them.  Do you think this is a possibility?  Neither do I!

I don’t have the space here to run through the litany of cases where the RCMP investigated themselves and (surprise, surprise!!) these investigations resulted in only a few (or, no) convictions (e.g. Ian Bush, Robert Dziekanski).  This is not considered good public relations with even the most unsophisticated of the Canadian public.  Does your “esteemed leader” get it?  I don’t think so either!

It would not be a huge jump of intellect for the Commissioner of the RCMP to suggest that the Force’s public image could change overnight; if when involved in deaths, serious injuries, or sexual assaults that these files be referred to an outside, police service or provincial agency.  C’mon, this is not revolutionary stuff!  Almost all police services in Canada do it.

Notice that the Prime Minister remains silent on this specific issue.  This of course, gives his Deputy Minister unspoken approval.  The latter can continue obstructing the Public Complaints Commission, supporting the status quo, and resisting change.

Conveniently, this state of affairs allows the Conservatives to legitimately state with gusto that they didn’t create the mess.  The notion that by the time they came into office the RCMP was already “running amok”, was above the law, and couldn’t be changed.

Are you aware of the growth of private policing?  It has begun; with parking police, traffic police, the likes of security companies e.g. Burns, ADT.  It’s very popular in Europe and growing quickly in the USA.  And it’s much more cost effective than paying you.  Are you getting the picture?  Do you suppose now would be the time to join MPPAC?  Do you care about the Force’s national reputation and/or your job?

“Awareness is good, but action is better”

Dr. Mike Webster, R. Psych.

  1. Very Well Said Mike;
    Baird was quite a mouth piece for Harper so just where do they both go from there?

    I shouldn’t be saying anything in regards to the RCMP because they really don’t think anyone should really be heard, and they can get upset when you do, making everything they say the absolute gospel according to the Force/Commissioner and a one way righteous conversation to the nations.

    RCMP hate bad publicity, understandable no one likes to be disciplined or stretched even a bit, it hurts promotions so there’s got to be a back up plan, a gun or grave yard where you can burry things. Fat chance of this happening but I would love to get my hands on the keys to that gate so I can dig up my case.

    Let’s face it if you rise to any top job (ex. Commander Zarccardelli from NB to RCMP Commissioner in Ottawa) because of what you’ve done for your political elites and not for whom you are as a person; it’s going to be a mess.

    This is why they love to end any negative reports; so just what happen to that so called site The RCMP Watch where articles pertaining to the RCMP were being reported from across Canada and were being discussed? The force will spend Millions and even Billions if they had it, of tax payer’s dollars to look good & personal perks to make their rough life better (they call me self righteous) but regret spending a cent when they have to make things right.

    I believe the down fall of the forces today will be cameras, social media and not wanting to change. So that could make it a bit uncomfortable for some who like to lurk in the shadows making off the record comments and expect to always get away with stuff.

    Keep the cameras rolling folks maybe someday the men/women in blue in the permanent press wrinkle free suits will change their hearts instead of their suits & boots and make a real difference.

    Former Shediac Town Police Officer
    Shot, Brused & Screwed for what he believed in

  2. Anonymous permalink

    The leader of the pack … Mr. Paulson should resign and apologize to all the Regular Members, Public Service Employees, and Civilian Members he has hurt, over the years. Nothing has changed. To quote a line “It gets Better” ! Not … even a LGBT member who appeared in that video, has expressed her desire to fight, and is suing the RCMP. Once a day 365 days a year, there will be one person who is fighting back against this abuse. Once he’s gone and the sooner the better the RCMP will be.

  3. RcMP ENTITLEMENT permalink

    Anonymous; are you quoting the famous RCMP moto; “The RCMP always get there man?”

    Moncton North; MLA Mike Murphy; in a December 2005 NB Legislative Assembly Debate in Fredericton framed it a bit differently (copy on blog); “The RCMP always get A MAN” when making a reference to the 1981 investigation the Shediac RCMP conducted of an Assassination attempt to get a Shediac Town Police Officer out of the way.

    Watch out you don’t get caught up in what you are fighting against and become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. The white shirts have a way of gathering the troupes and sending them packing against someone. Those simple nut bars have no idea what they are doing to the forces all they care about is where they are going, period.

  4. Buck permalink

    The Commissioner wouldn’t know the “right thing” if it jumped up and slapped him in the head.

    It is part of the demise of the fabric of the Force, self serving individuals climbing the corporate ladder with their only concern being what more can they get to feed their greed, knowing all the way they don’t need to show competent leadership or accountability.


  5. I found a site “THE HUFFINGTON POST” where they took time to name all the missing/murdered native woman in Canada and I read there’s a book coming out. Go check it out!

  6. I took the time to do a search yesterday in Canada to see if there were or had been any cases of Mounties being charged. I found some and posted the results on the Blog.

    May I add that I’m encouraged by these findings and to see that the Commissioner of the RCMP is finally doing his job and the force is weeding out those that should not be in police work.

    Maybe someday I can rest and be assured that other police officers will not be treated like I was in Shediac in 1981…..


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