RCMP updates its ‘core values’ for the first time in 25 years with commitments to reconciliation, diversity

RCMP is updating its statement of “core values” for the first time in a quarter of a century by adding references to “reconciliation”, “diversity”, “honor” and “empathy”. “.

Test. Alex Laporte, the RCMP ethics official leading the working group on the new guiding principles, says the document is intended to serve as a foundation for the entire organization and can influence RCMP policies – even even recruitment.

Laporte said it is no coincidence that the first change to the RCMP’s core value statement since 1997 is occurring at a time of intense political debates over the role of the police.

“So society has changed, [the] The political landscape has changed. So for us, it just makes sense to revisit and refresh our core values,” he told CBC News last week.

“We are aware of a number of confidence-changing events around the world and also in Canada, [have] erode and affect public trust in policing. “

The change was ordered by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and also follows recommendations from the RCMP’s Management Advisory Board, an external body that provides advice on institutional transformation and workplace benefits.

Northwest Mountain Police officers of Division “B”, circa 1900. (Library and Archives Canada)

Laporte said the RCMP consulted with members and outside groups – including Indigenous elders and groups representing LGBTQ+, black and racist Canadians and people with disabilities. disability – before making a new statement.

The new value statement pledges that the Mounties will “conduct [themselves] ethically and do so with honesty, dignity and honor. “

“We care about each other and the communities we serve by approaching each situation with empathy and a genuine desire to help,” the statement read.

“We value and promote reconciliation, diversity and inclusion by taking into account the democratic rights, history and life experiences of others.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver, BC on January 15, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / Canadian Press)

Embracing those values, Laporte said, means recognizing the role the RCMP has played in that history – especially for Indigenous peoples.

While images like Mountie in red fur on horseback are part of Canadian mythology, the RCMP’s had a difficult and complicated relationship with indigenous peoples that remain a source of controversy to this day. .

“We’re deploying staff across the country. It’s important for us to understand the history of the community and also understand our own,” he said. “That’s what was brought up in our consultation – understand your own history.

“It’s not all shiny. We know this. We admit it.”

The general manager said: Exercise is a ‘waste of time.

But Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs, called updating the document a “waste of time.”

“There are more serious problems in the RCMP organization than changing its value proposition,” he said.

“The RCMP has been very involved in captive deathIn shoot unarmed civilians and brutal tactics, dealing with protesters, things of that nature, not to mention the internal issues of sexual assaults of their own female members. “

Phillip said one way for the RCMP to make amends is to hold its officials accountable.

“When RCMP officers shoot and kill civilians, there are very serious consequences. When they injure civilians with excessive force, there are consequences and they go to jail,” he said.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has said that “systematic racism is part of every institution, including the RCMP.” (Chris Wattie / Canadian Press)

He said he did not believe the force could repair his reputation.

“It’s beyond reform,” he said

The update to the core value statement comes as the RCMP tries to confront its past treatment of Indigenous communities.

Systematic racism in RCMP

Just a few years ago, Commissioner Brenda Lucki told multiple media outlets that she was “grappling” with the definition of systemic racism and how it applies to the national police force.

She later revised her statement.

“I know that systemic racism is part of every institution, including the RCMP,” she said in 2020.

“Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated indigenous and racist people fairly.”

Those comments come after a number of incidents in which the RCMP was accused of using excessive force against indigenous peoples.

The national police force came under fire this month for its response to a march that allegedly hit and run at a rally honoring residential school survivors in New York. Mission, BC last weekend. Police said four people were hit by bullets. two of them were taken to the hospital.

SEE: Mission march organizers claim RCMP makes them vulnerable

Mission march organizers claim RCMP makes them vulnerable

Organizers of the residential school awareness march in Mission last weekend attempted to have the RCMP in place to control traffic. But their request was denied. During the march, witnesses said a pickup truck rammed some of the attendees.

The RCMP’s release initially attributed the hit to an “impatient driver” who was unable to pass marchers.

But Witnesses told CBC News that a man in a pickup truck threatened to run over children and made racist remarks. before plunging into the parades.

Updated replacement of the word ‘professional’

The RCMP’s new core value statement has removed the section on “professionalism” and replaced it with a commitment to serve “with excellence”. That change has drawn some criticism on the social network RCMP.

Laporte defended the move, saying the core value goes beyond image.

“Showing it professionally, having a uniform, having a way of expelling yourself is one thing,” he said.

“Looking professional doesn’t necessarily equate to professional behavior.”

The RCMP is currently soliciting members to participate in the new value proposition and reviewing RCMP policies and practices that may need to be updated to align with the statement.

“Change can be uncomfortable for some people,” says Laporte, who arrived in Ottawa after 12 years of serving in the North.

“We’ve heard that words are just words until they’re put into action. Adjusting our words and actions will be the key to moving forward.”

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