OTTAWA – Last week, Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May stated: “The RCMP is a racist institution.” Today, Ms. May provided further evidence of the institution’s racist, anti-Indigenous attitude.
In 2017, in what was supposed to be a fair and open competition to locate a new RCMP Occupational Communication Centre in Nova Scotia, the RCMP rigged the process to rule out the bid of the Millbrook First Nation.
The details of how this was done emerged through Access to Information requests and are laid out in a March 25, 2020 letter from Chief Robert Gloade of Millbrook First Nation to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair (attached).
“Surely a claim to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires, at a minimum, fair access to economic opportunities,” said Ms. May. “But the RCMP unfairly added an unexplained $1.6 million in costs to the Millbrook proposal, while inaccurately describing the RCMP HQ proposal as involving zero rent.
“Over the years I served as leader of the Green Party of Canada, we have called for public inquiries into the RCMP multiple times. Occasionally, a review took place but never with the teeth to allow investigators to get to the facts.”
Issues requiring investigations include:
- RCMP interference in the 2006 election;
- The RCMP’s militarized approach, including the use of violence against peaceful protesters at Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick in 2013;
- Systemic sexism in the RCMP and horrific treatment of female officers;
- What the RCMP knew about the scandal of money laundering in British Columbia casinos;
- The violent arrest of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs last winter; and
- The degree to which racists and those with links to white supremacist organizations have joined the RCMP.
“We also need an inquiry into how the RCMP handled the April 2020 mass murder in Nova Scotia that ranged from Portapique to the Wentworth Valley, Debert and Shubenacadie, the killing of Rodney Levi by New Brunswick RCMP, as well as this contract ‘fixing’ to advantage the RCMP proposal and disadvantage Millbrook First Nation,” said Ms. May.
“In other words, it is time to place the RCMP under a microscope. I want to know why the RCMP is receiving an unexplained additional $18 million in supplementary estimates on top of its $3.5 billion budget and additional $220 million, to, quite rightly, compensate officers injured on the job. The $18 million is without detail. Now would be a good time to say ‘no.’
“The collectivity of recent (post-2005) experiences does not inspire confidence. The impression is of an unaccountable, secretive organization. It is time for a thorough review to ask whether this institution is capable of reform.”
*Letter to Ministers attached
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