Macleans: “The RCMP is in ruins.”

by matttbastard

Via Terry O’Neill @ The Shotgun Blog (the preceding still seems like it should be a typo), this week’s issue of Macleans features a must read cover story by Jonathon Gatehouse and Charlie Gillis, What’s really killing the Mounties.


This past summer, David Brown, the Toronto lawyer charged with investigating the mishandling of the RCMP’s pension and insurance funds, lifted the lid on a much more serious problem, declaring the force’s culture, governance and management structure “horribly broken.” (A new task force he is chairing will deliver recommendations on how to fix the problems to the Harper government next month.) As a constitutional challenge over legislation that denies RCMP officers the right to unionize looms, the divide between front-line members and their “white shirt” bosses seems wider than ever. According to the results of an internal 2007 survey, only 50 per cent of RCMP employees now believe they are treated fairly by the force; just 54 per cent feel “respected and trusted” by their superiors; and a feeble 26 per cent agree that the force develops capable and competent senior leaders. Much has been made of the recent appointment of William Elliott, a former bureaucrat and “new broom” commissioner who replaced Giuliano Zaccardelli, who resigned in disgrace over the Maher Arar affair. But even with a civilian at the helm, the force’s taste—or capacity—for the type of reforms needed to address such widespread concerns remains an open question.

As O’Neill notes, the report was apparently written prior to the release of the Robert Dziekanski Taser video, but still provides an exhaustive rundown of the overall disarray afflicting all levels of RCMP culture, of which the Taser incident is the latest (if most visceral) example. Read the whole damn thing; maybe Dawg is right.

PS – Never forget.

Related: After 34 days, the four officers involved in the death of Mr Dziekanski were finally reassigned. Took ’em long enough, eh? Accountability, thy name is “Elliott”.

Oh, and Dave @ the Beav reports that suggestions the use of its product may have actually resulted in someone keeling over (again) has given TASER Int’l the vapors. Not quite at the level of excited delirium, thankfully. Still, company security best keep close watch on the executive offices, just in case.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

6 thoughts on “Macleans: “The RCMP is in ruins.”

  1. Via Terry O’Neill @ The Shotgun Blog (the preceding still seems like it should be a typo)

    No kidding! But there are some odd alliances developing over this. Bob Tarantino’s on-side, and a few other conservative commenters as well. Seems that common decency can still prevail over hard-line ideology in this country.

    On a personal note, the same force was at work when I received condolences over my partner’s passing last year–from right across the political spectrum. Moving, on a lot of levels.


  2. Yeah, look at all the hard work Weston @ Sun Media has put into covering the RCMP over the past few years, too.

    The notion that political ideology works on a binary axis has never gelled with my personal experience–though I must admit that, after 9/11, it became extremely difficult to chart any common ground with the ‘other side’. Thankfully, the extreme polarization of the early Aughts seems to have lessened in recent years.

    Putting a name and a face to one’s supposed ‘enemy’ probably helps. Labels serve to dehumanize. Not to say that I can claim sainthood in this regard. ;-)

    (Belated condolences, btw. Have been involved in the greater blogosphere in some form or fashion since its inception, but have only recently delved into the Canuckosphere in a serious manner. So forgive me if I seem ‘out of the loop’ with regards to a lot of past homefront happenings.)


  3. I think that we’ve got to be careful here. This is absolutely not a comment to clear the RCMP of any wrongdoing. There is an urgent need to fix it. “Fix” is the operative word here.

    A while ago I read a Ron Dart’s post in which he wrote about “legitimate criticisms” of the world order and I believe it applies in the current context as well: “The much more difficult question to answer is this: what is the best and wisest way to oppose such an order, and, equally important, how do we create a just and equitable world order and standards that serve a nation well?” (See also here)

    I think that it may be well to keep in mind that while many of us would like to see the RCMP fixed, there are many others who would truly, really like to see the whole apparatus destroyed … to be replaced by the likes of Blackwater. Dart gets it.


  4. If you are now becoming afraid of the RCMP, you are beginning to experience the fear that anyone,who has ever lived in a poor part of town or on an aboriginal reserve, will have lived with for well over a century.


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