RCMP ‘inept, outdated,’ Cummins says

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins is calling for an independent review of a force he calls "inept and outdated."

Former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford and B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins present Peckford's report on the RCMP to reporters in Victoria Monday.

VICTORIA – With the B.C. government poised to sign a new 20-year agreement for RCMP services, B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins says there needs to be an independent review of a force he calls “inept and outdated.”

That characterization comes from a report from former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford, a now a B.C. Conservative member living in Qualicum Beach. Peckford undertook the project as a volunteer, speaking with experts and reviewing the history of policing in B.C.

Peckford found it “disturbing” that no B.C. auditor general has done a value-for-money audit of RCMP services in the province where one third of Mounties work. He also referred to an inquiry conducted by for former B.C. attorney general and judge Wally Oppal for the NDP government in 1994, which called for “fundamental changes” to make the force more responsive to the needs of B.C. communities.

Peckford, who once expanded the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to replace the RCMP in the St. John’s region, said the past 20 years have changed Canadian policing dramatically. Since 9/11 and the rise of terrorism, national and international security duties have put far more pressure on the RCMP, he said.

“To still be able to concentrate on how I’m going to police Kitimat or Fort Nelson or Tofino, at the same time as I need to deal with sophisticated things on a national and international level, seems to be stretching it a little bit,” Peckford said.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond said Tuesday that provincial negotiators are making progress to meet Wednesday’s deadline for an agreement to extend RCMP services to B.C. communities.

Bond has been stressing the need for more accountability for costs borne by municipalities, through a contract management committee. The new contract would also likely contain an opt-out clause.

Cummins said if his party forms a new B.C. government, he will order an independent review of the service and consider returning to the B.C. provincial policing model. He praised the dedication of RCMP members, but said their structure is out of step with modern times.

There are 150 communities in B.C. served by the RCMP, and along with the provincial government, B.C. taxpayers contribute more than $780 million a year to the costs.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read