The repercussions for the members who dared to speak out also came as no surprise. The words “culture of corruption” and “culture of vengeance”, attributed to members of parliament describing the RCMP, are all too fitting. Truer words have never been spoken. Any member, whether dealing with senior management or low level supervisors have undoubtedly felt the wrath for going against the grain and exposing improprieties. It is the ultimate sin! Truth be known, honesty and integrity are regularly discouraged and viewed with scorn. The Image of the Force is far more important.
There are many questions being asked by the public, by members and by members of parliament. How could this have been allowed to take place? Where are the checks and balances? Men and women in power will often give themselves tools to enhance their ability to rule and will often abuse these tools when situations arise which could affect their grip. The RCMP has given itself such a tool and they do not hesitate to use it.
The public, members of the RCMP and legislators should look no further than the RCMP Act. This powerful tool of intimidation, which contains the Code of Conduct, is the weapon of choice when attempting to silence members. It’s deliberately vaguely worded “catch all” sections, which permit senior management to make square pegs fit into round holes, can and do discipline members for exercising their S.2 Charter rights of freedom of thought, belief and expression. The fundamental freedoms that all Canadians enjoy are routinely denied to RCMP members. If my identity was known, I would be ordered to resign from the Force within 14 days or be dismissed. How’s that for freedom of expression?
As long as the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Senior Executive Committee are given absolute power, they will use it. And use it with a ruthlessness usually associated with totalitarian and dictatorial regimes. There is one way to solve this problem…let the members speak without the fear of reprisals. Repeal the sections of the RCMP Act that forbid criticism of the organization. A Royal Commission on the abuses endured by members of the RCMP would have Canadians glued to their televisions….that is why it will never happen.
The only reason the Image of the RCMP has continued to be a positive one is not because of the accomplishments of its membership, it’s because anything that has the possibility to tarnish its image, from within, is simply not permitted. Cover ups abound, members are silenced every day, threatened with disciplinary action or dismissed for having integrity. If anybody ever questioned just how serious the problem is, I would point to Deputy Commissioner Barb George’s recent statements indicating her misleading statements to a parliamentary committee are protected by parliamentary privilege. Thank you for thumbing your nose at our elected representatives Deputy Commissioner, you are a true model of the Mission, Vision and Values of the Force. The rot is not exclusive to Ottawa but is entrenched in every single Division across Canada.
Senior management has no fear because it controls everything. The Public Complaints Commission against the RCMP uses RCMP members to conduct their investigations and their findings are turned over to the Commissioner, who has the final say to accept or deny them. The Force’s internal investigations sections frequently have their strings pulled by the puppet masters at the top. Double standards abound. Interference and obstruction are standard operating procedure. Officers who conduct themselves in a disgraceful manner are routinely let off with nothing more than verbal reprimands while frontline members are fined, transferred, demoted, dismissed and ridiculed. It truly is good to be King!
A pretty damning condemnation of the status quo, wouldn’t you say?