Three years ago today, Canadians were devastated by the news coming out of Nova Scotia. Particularly for Nova Scotians, the grief was overwhelming.
“Now that the Mass Casualty Commission has reported, the grief remains, now layered with anger and disbelief at the incompetence of the RCMP. That incomitance may have crossed the line into criminal negligence. That incompetence is steeped in bias, a bias in favour of a white, wealthy professional man. That bias allowed many red flags about the threat he presented over more than a decade to be ignored. And that incompetence was on full display during those horrific thirteen hours from April 18-19,” said leader Elizabeth May, MP (Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Local people, such as the first person to give details to 911, Jamie Blair, risked and lost their lives to give the police vital information that was not shared with the public, to warn people and to save lives.”
“The 72 pages of recommendations are impressive. The call for better education and training of the RCMP, to take a public health perspective on preventing violence, to adopt a better gender lens through women-centred risk assessments, a focus on the coercive element of violence against intimate partners, and many steps that reflect the complex nature of a national crisis will be a challenge to implement, but we must act,” said Green MP Mike Morrice (Kitchener Centre).
Greens are concerned that the report not be viewed in isolation. “The Mass Casualty Commission report and its focus on gender-based violence echoes the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 2S+ peoples. Most recommendations from that inquiry continue to gather dust,” noted Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault. “Add to that the reports of a pattern of violence against young Indigenous women and girls in the Prince George RCMP detachment, the recent report on the deep anti-Indigenous racism of the Thunder Bay Police Service, and of the newly opened inquiry into the Community-Industry Response Group, violating the Charter by creating “exclusion zones” at Fairy Creek and on Wet’suwet’en territory.”
Greens call on the federal government to link these reports and recognize that there is a national crisis in policing at the very moment Canadians are looking to law enforcement to ensure public safety in the face of a rash of recent violent events.
“We demand a thorough and systemic, transformative, reform of the RCMP, linked to improving local policing as well. There are many officers and police forces across Canada who do policing well. Let us find best practices and replicate those to move forward rapidly to end the shameful pattern of gender based and race based violence,” said Ms. May.
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Fabrice Lachance Nové