The Calgary Herald, usually a loyal Conservative Party supporter, recently editorialized about the RCMP:
“When the RCMP dispatched disgraced Alberta Staff-Sgt. Don Ray to B.C., it was reminiscent of how the Catholic Church dealt with some of its priests. After a “disturbing pattern” of sexual misconduct, in which Ray exposed himself, had sex with subordinates, and kept a liquor cabinet in his crime lab, the RCMP demoted him to sergeant, docked him 10 days’ pay and shipped him to places unknown in B.C. The Catholic Church similarly had a habit of quietly shipping naughty priests to other dioceses…”
The Herald’s July opinion piece then downplays troubles by assuring us that all will be well in the future:
“The RCMP and the Harper government appear to have finally gotten the message that wrist slaps are no longer acceptable.
“…Finally, a commissioner who gets it, and a politician who is willing to do something about it…”
Frankly, there is nothing in recent history that indicates the Calgary Herald is correct, except for the head-in-sand comparison to the Roman Catholic Church. There is much that suggests little or nothing has changed since new Commissioner Bob Paulson took command. The latest was written about in The Province by Sam Cooper:
The Province has learned that this Mountie of 22 years’ experience [an Inspector] was neither dismissed nor demoted by the RCMP in a discipline hearing following a drunk-driving conviction in February 2012. Instead, he was transferred to B.C.
In Rewarding Incompetence from December 2011, I quoted a Globe and Mail piece that included:
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says his mandate is to “clear-cut” problems that have taken root so deeply in the police culture that some Mounties are now embarrassed to tell neighbours where they work…
In Drowsy Canadians take note, written in January, I also quoted from a Montreal Gazette article written by Senator Colin Kenny, Muzzling of RCMP commissioner shows that control is out of control:
“…All governments, however, are at times tempted to circumvent democratic principles when those principles threaten their own grip on power. The Harper government, as many have noted before me, has succumbed to such temptation with unprecedented passion.
“The result is that control is out of control, as it were. Ministers are scripted; committees are neutered; debate is cut off; public servants are muzzled; laws and court edicts are ignored; official watchdogs are fired; bills are adulterated with agenda filling provisions unconnected to their rationale; opposition amendments are dismissed out of hand; provincial premiers are avoided; and the prime minister’s communications-control team grows at a steroidal pace in an era of fiscal restraint.
“…The commissioner of the RCMP has always been a very powerful position, held at arm’s length from government. The reasons are obvious. If a member of a government is alleged to have broken the law, the Mounties are the people called in to investigate. Although funded by the government, the RCMP cannot become the instrument of government…”
Neither of the source articles are available at the originating newspapers, which is unfortunate because the same problems continue, unchanged.