It’s an iconic image of Canada: A Mountie, donning a red serge, Stetson hat, combat boots, standing on guard for thee, which is usually taken to mean “all of us.” But this image, as mighty as it seems, is attached to what critics call a massive, dysfunctional, paramilitary institution that can’t seem to ever hold itself accountable. Its relationship with Indigenous peoples is as strained as ever and there is quaking within its ranks, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars spent on inquiries and settlements.
While the residents of Portapique, Nova Scotia took to the streets this week demanding a public inquiry into the RCMP’s response the day 22 of its residents died at the hands of a gunman, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission found the Mounties’ “command and control” approach to policing has led to “unreasonable" use of force in their response to mental health and wellbeing calls. It doesn’t help that their top official can’t answer a basic question on whether systemic racism exists in the force. Can the RCMP be truly and meaningfully reformed? Does it need to be?
GUEST: Jane Gerster, a national features reporter for Global News, who has done in-depth investigative reporting on the RCMP.
GUEST HOST: Sarah Boesveld