RCMP ‘inept, outdated,’ Cummins says

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins is calling for an independent review of a force he calls "inept and outdated."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B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins says there needs to be an independent review of a force he calls “inept and outdated.”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. reservists gather for military communications training in Chilliwack

Canadian Army’s communication skills are used in battle as well as domestic emergencies

VIDEO: ‘Heroes’ rescue teenager trapped in vehicle in water-filled ditch in Chilliwack

Two men sprang into action, holding 17-year-old’s head out of water as they pried open door

Sarah Wark rallies to beat Prince Edward Island at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark wasn’t at the top of her game, but her team did enough to improve to 6-3 overall.

GW Graham junior boys play underdog role at basketball provincials

One of two at-large seeds in the 32 team field, the Grizzlies face a tough opponent out of the gate.

Unfinished business for GW Graham basketball Grizzlies at AA provincials

GWG’s senior girls squad advanced to the final before losing in 2018 and look to win it all in 2019.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read