Idea alert


The RCMP report tabled yesterday by Colin Kenny and a delegation of Liberal senators is here. A few of its notable recommendations are as follows.

We recommend that the federal government move quickly to establish a civilian review authority to deal openly with serious grievances concerning the conduct of the RCMP; that this body possess full audit authority, power to subpoena, and have full access to RCMP records except for Cabinet confidences; and that it also have the power to initiate legal proceedings and recommend redress in cases in which it concludes that RCMP officers have broken the law…

RCMP marked vehicles and uniformed officers should be equipped with miniature cameras that would enhance transparency for both officers and citizens from false accusations of improper behaviour…

We recommend that the federal government provide funding to increase RCMP personnel by 5,000 (or more) regular members in approximately equal increments over the next decade…

Senator Kenny told the Sun the government could pay for various improvements with an increase to the GST.

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Idea alert

  1. I can't think of a better way to improve morale in an organization where employee morale is reportedly really low than by sticking cameras on everything so that their every move is monitored and recorded.

    I am not much of a fan of the RCMP as things are and agree there needs to be reform, but this is laughable.

    • How about by letting citizens falsely accuse them of brutality?

    • The fact that you can't believe a Mountie unless he is being filmed is the actual problem, and there are too many precedents of their leniency towards the truth. This would be a solution, drastic, yes, but the Mounties have proven they just cannot have their words taken at face value anymore.
      What about the country's morale regarding their national police force? (Getting away with murder is not just a saying anymore, just ask Ian Bush's family).

  2. Aaron, you'll have to rest your fingers this weekend. If you are planning to continue this topic of "Idea Alert", you'll need healthy rested fingers because next week we get to see why Stephen Harper needed to shut down Parliament and throw out over half his legislative agenda, why he needed all that extra time away from the "distraction" and "instability" of facing elected Members of Parliament, so he could "re-calibrate", "re-tool" and set a bold new agenda for Canada.

    I can only begin to imagine the number of "Idea Alerts" that will be necessary to capture all of the re-calibration.

    I'm so excited. I don't know about you all, but in our family we're planning on cancelling everything and sitting down with a bowl of popcorn to watch the unveiling. It is sooooo going to be like the reveal of the list of Oscar nominees, except for the red carpet.

    • I believe the first thing Fliherty's going to do is make Canada a red carpet-only zone…

  3. I get what you're saying, but I don't think this is the solution. At best it addresses the symptoms of the disease rather than actually curing it, while it could easily make things worse.

  4. The symptoms have festered too long, to the point that the force itself is becoming the disease, almost to the point of being unsalvageable. It is no longer a problem of "just a few bad apples" when the good apples are helping to protect the bad apples. The Mounties are entirely responsible for their present condition.

  5. Colin Kenny has a knack for doing useful things from a Senate seat. It is very clear that the leadership of the RCMP needs a complete overhaul. {The actions of the 4 mounties involved in tasering Dziekański should be condemed, but the fact is they were following RCMP policy at the time} One hopes that one of the law&order priorities of the government will be to restore credibility to one of the most celebrated police forces worldwide.

    (Paulin continues to be unimpressive; she is the Senate's Chris Pronger…looks good on paper, trainwreck in practice but always quick with the cheapshot)

  6. Well, that's kind of what I'm getting at:

    Cameras aren't your solution if that's the problem, its a superficial fix.

  7. "Oh, my camera broke."
    "Oh, there was a problem with the data backup, we lost the footage."

    Cameras aren't your fix.

    • Yeah, but asking the Mounties to be honest from now on would have a greater fail rate.
      With cameras, they would no longer get the benefit of the doubt if there was something "wrong' with the camera and their version of an incident. Right now, they are pretty much like the mob, but with more paperwork.

      I know, ask Ian Bush's family. He was murdered in police custody, yet the camera "was not turned on".

      • Also, the camera in the front of the RCMP vehicle wasn't working during the Curtis Dagenais/RCMP officer shoot out. Even local cops here say the RCs attached Dagenais that day…and tried to run him over before shooting. That evidence was covered, and Dagenais is now in jail.

        So we'll need to source more reliable cameras for the force.

        • The Mounties would need the same kind of cameras they attach to all kinds of extreme athletes, if they can handle moguls then they can work elsewhere.

  8. The camera idea is good and I actually emailed him to say that, but the rest…more spending, more taxes, more race quotas, more gender quotas. He didn't need to bother issuing a report, we could have predicted what he was going to say.

    Kenney is married to an RCMP officer, a conflict of interest that would make Sinc Stevens blush, he's the last guy in the senate to be trusted in reforming the RCMP. Policing is a provincial jurisdiction anyway, there shouldn't be such thing as the RCMP in the first place.

    As for finding money, the RCMP could start by not paying constables with 3 years experience $93,000 a year as they currently do. Twenty three year olds with no post secondary education getting nearly a hundred grand is preposterous, that's more than lawyers and some doctors make.

    Liberals proposing more money for the RCMP is funny ha-ha, because when they were in power they starved the RCMP of funds, to the point that it is widely alleged that the RCMP got the Tories elected by announcing a criminal investigation of the Liberals during an election, after which Liberal numbers plummeted in polls. The Liberals might still be in power had they followed their own advice. Me, I say disband them and replace them with an FBI style organization which would be more effective, appropriate, and constitutional. The RCMP brand is toast, outside of some grannies who think the red serge is swell, and will not recover.

    • "Me, I say disband them and replace them with an FBI style organization which would be more effective, appropriate, and constitutional. The RCMP brand is toast, outside of some grannies who think the red serge is swell, and will not recover."

      That sounds like a perfectly good idea to me.

      • So who provides the regular police services in remote regions then?

        • Either a specific remote region police force, or the provinces, or some other solution. Whatever works so long as the current RCMP culture is crushed.

          • I guess that is what I'm getting at. It's just "someone" or someone else, "whatever works".

            There is no one else. And replacing the RCMP doesn't seem to me to address any specific problem.

          • There's no one else because we have the RCMP, so we don't need anyone else.

            The problem with the RCMP, as I understand it, is that the culture internally is really poisonous, demoralizing, and it seems that fairly often senior Mounties look to serve the Mounties first and the public second. Everything else is a symptom of the broken internal culture at the RCMP.

            So, what do you do to fix that? Is it possible to fix it without tearing down the whole institution, one way or another? Is it worth it to spend the time and effort doing that? I don't know, but starting fresh would certainly seem to force a change in culture.

        • The answer to your question lies in the Constitution Act, sections 91 and 92 believe; I shouldn't have to explain that to a smart, politically inclined lawyer.

          • Weeeel, golly, you shur showd me.

            Lookin' at them thar seksion 91 'n 92, seems that yousa musta be sayin' that either the Queenie musta go up der and take care of the policin' herself. Or is ya sayin' that the mere passin' of some law way up thar in Ottawa isa all itsa gonna take and them min and wimmin in uniform will just magically appear?

            It was a serious question about practicalities and realities smartass. Who will actually do the policing? You dismantle the RCMP, then there is no police force for three territories and many many other remote regions in all of the provinces.

          • The population of Nunavut is about 30,000, NWT 40,000, Yukon a bit more than that. We're talking the population of Kingston, Ontario here in sum. This does not necessitate a full blown national police force, and last time I checked the Constitution Act didn't forbid creating a new police force to serve this tiny population YOU STUPID GODDDAAMNED MORON DUHDUHDUHDUH!!!!!!!!!!

            Now, wath that a faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulouth enough anther for you, thweetie? Good, run along to the bath houtheth then and thtop annoying the grown upth here talking politicth.

          • Trying to gauge how old you are based on your responses. Clearly, not in kindergarten because you can read. Not likely higher than Grade 10 though because you don't comprehend. The typos, awful grammar pushes my guess down to maybe a Grade 4. My 8 year old is more mature than how you represent yourself so I'd say Grade 3 max.

            Mommy and Daddy letting you stay up late because of Team Canada, OffTheJob? The games now in the bag so off you go.

            I seriously don't know why I waste my time asking serious questions of stupid stupid people.

          • Trying to discern your precise vein of flamboyancy. Shrill tone indicates Church and Wellesley, yet the galling ignorance suggests a Davie Street provenance, whereas the poor argumentation (justifying the existence of the RCMP based on a few thousand people up north? wtf?) indicates a Boul. St. Laurent origin.

            I've concluded your flamboyancy is "pan-Canadian", or possibly just vagrant.

          • "Trying to gauge how old you are based on your responses." – sentence fragment.

            "Clearly, not in kindergarten because you can read." – comma splice, sentence fragment.

            "The typos, awful grammar pushes my guess down to maybe a Grade 4." comma splice, missing conjuction.

            "My 8 year old is more mature than how you represent yourself so I'd say Grade 3 max. " – missing commas after yourself and 3.

            "Mommy and Daddy letting you stay up late because of Team Canada, OffTheJob?" – Should be prefaced with "Are".

            "The games now in the bag so off you go. " – missing apostrophe in "games"

            "I seriously don't know why I waste my time asking serious questions of stupid stupid people." – missing comma after first stupid.

            You made grammatical errors in every single sentence of that post. You are, demonstrably, an astonishingly illiterate individual. I'm done with you.

  9. On the extra headcount: is there any justification for an increase of 5000?

    • The cynic in me says that's in there to try and head off accusations of being anti-RCMP by the Conservatives.

      Past that, no idea!

    • My understanding is that it is not uncommon in remote areas for Mounties to have to go into potentially dangerous situations solo. I believe there was a report (perhaps an internal report) recommending that that practice be discontinued (maybe 14 months ago?) but in the end that recommendation was too expensive.

  10. Do you give yourself a thumbs up everytime you post? That's tacky.
    Institution means allof it, not just departments. I think that they all no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt. There are more than just few bad apples.
    Sometimes the bathwater is indeed dirty and does need to be thrown out. Quit trying to be willfully obtuse.

  11. …registered users all start at +1, dude.

    • Ah, now I know. I was wondering how someone could get a thumbs up within the first minute. Thanks for the info.

  12. I didn't even know you could do that. I've never given anyone a thumbs up or down.

    I'm not trying to be wilfully obtuse and I'm sorry if questions about the detail about what you are suggesting are difficult for you.

    I have no opinion on what needs to be done about the RCMP, other than something and better non-RCMP oversight and investigation.

    In trying to form my own opinion about such things, I like to cut through hyperbole like "it's all rotten" and needs to be "completely overhauled" to try to understand precisely what you think that would entail. They are kind of meaningless words and meaningless call to arms without an alternative plan.

    I also try hard to do my own digging without casually throwing base insults at those who with whom I'm discussing things.

    • My apologies then, your posts come across as arguing about semantics rather than the deeper meaning that something is already proven wrong with the Mounties and something needs to be done.
      Time for denial is past, there IS something wrong the Mounties institution (and I don't mean the buildings either, although I am sure they could use some work too). I would suggest you dig harder.

      • And redundancy means it is time to go outside and walk the dog.

    • Sorry, the impression you give is of someone trying to muddy the waters and then say they are trying to make things clearer. I don't think it is hyperbole, the core of the Mounties force is rotten and it is affecting everything that stands on it, including any respect it once had.
      By overhaul, I think that every single aspect of the police force needs to be under a microscope to finally clear the stench of corruption and arrogant indiference to their mandate, you know, the law.

  13. I'm generally suspicious of the idea that the Commissioner should be hired up from the ranks, and that morale is so different in a police organization that the rank and file can't handle actual civilian oversight and accountability. Just because Eilliot hasn't been able to get the job done doesn't mean another civilian wouldn't.

    I bet poorly trained supervisors who suck at soft skills and rely on bullying has the same impact on RCMP morale/productivity that it does in badly run factories or healthcare institutions. Why do you think the RCMP rank and file want a union? They aren't all bad apples trying to get out of work, they just want a fair process when something is wrong, and they aren't getting it from the archaic culture of command and control.

    It's the management culture that has to be addressed first, with managers accountable for the way they supervise the rank and file, and how they respond when there are personnel issues.

  14. But the problem is the actual institution, cameras would be cheaper and faster than a complete institutional overhaul, because that is what is really needed. The cancer has spread too far for little steps, the core itself is rotten and poisoning everything it touches, good and bad.

    • What does that even mean, a "complete institutional overhaul"? Cops are cops and most of what they do, when they are doing their job, seems generally OK. They screw up and, as is always the case in such jobs, when they screw up it is a big screw up with hefty consequences to individual citizens.

      Most of the problems I am aware of come from the internal politics.

      • It means the institution is rotten and needs an overhaul. It is past time to say that what they do is generally ok. It's not, and it is getting increasingly obvious that there are deep problems within the institution itself. The fact is that when they screw up, there are no consequences for them, even when they murder (a spade is a spade, Ian Bush was murder.) The institution protects the guily especially if the person or persons are guilty, and that is wrong.
        I agree, internal politics is a huge source of problems, but nothing will change unless everything changes.

        • Again, what "institution". The forensics labs? The HR department? The ceremonies team? It's drug unit? It's remote outposts where no one else is providing police services? It's emergency task forces? It's cross border crime units? Homicide units? The RCMP is many institutions or segments. Are you saying you think they're all rotten?

          What overhaul? Fire everybody and re-write its mandate? Who does what in between? What kind of actions do you mean by "overhaul"?

          If this is about Ian Bush – something I really know nothing about – even if your accusations are true, it would not be the first time and not the first time civilian oversight of the kind Colin Kenney called for today is proven to be needed (as opposed to throwing everything out with the bathwater).

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