More Accountability for the RCMP, or less for the Province?
And the games continue. According to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />CBC on Sunday, the Government of British Columbia is again calling out for the RCMP to have more “Accountability.” By this they mean, and continually state, that the RCMP should me more accountable to the provincial government. This is ludicrous.
The cries by the BC Liberal party to have the RCMP be accountable to them started years ago, and seem to flare up every so often. In fact, the initial cause seems to have been the raids on the Legislature, in 2003. Being caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the Government realized that they would have to shape up to prevent further scandals resulting from RCMP investigations. And then someone seems to have realized that, if the RCMP were beholden to the government, they could not investigate it, at least not without Liberal consent.
Since then, we have been forced to listen to the government posturing, pontificating and prevaricating, over the issue of RCMP jurisdiction and accountability. They attempt to delay the renewal of the RCMP contract in BC, stall any investigations into their own mismanagement, and demonize the good hard-working men and women in the red surge, who protect the people of BC day in and out.
This is not to say that the RCMP is without problems. However, the need for accountability within that organization is not the mandate of the BC Liberal Party. The RCMP are no longer allowed to investigate themselves, which is a start. Further improvements will surely be made. However, to claim a desire for accountability, and offer puppet strings instead is a disgrace. The majority of Mounties are honourable, decent, brave men and women, who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, and put criminals behind bars. Why should they be subjected to control from what is likely the biggest criminal organization in BC, the legislature?
BC MLAs rarely meet to discuss the running of the province. It is not unheard of for them to only meet once or twice a year, pat themselves on the back, and vote for raises for themselves and new ways to wring the money for them out of the people of BC. During the Olympics, the RCMP were kept busy, or so the government thought. The recent report says they came in under budget, and had fewer serious incidents than had been expected. Bad news for a government renown for corruption, following an international event that was over budget in every way other than security.
Let’s not forget the cost to tax payers of that lovely fleet of vehicles, many of which were trashed, for which the records to identify the responsible party either do not exist, or “cannot be released,” for the privacy of those who were responsible. As a result, ICBC is paying out a huge amount of money to get the vehicles back into shape for resale. And what of the concerns over the spending of government money to get MLAs into events, throw parties, and generally let them live large for a month?
We know that there are concerns over the way that the government handled tax-payer dollars during the games. But, upon hearing last week that maybe, just maybe, those hard working men and women, the “thin blue line” of the police, were actually able to take note of what was happening, and that they managed to come in under budget, and still go above and beyond what would normally be expected of them, well, that is unsettling if you were growing fat off the mismanagement of funds, driving dangerously in a vehicle on loan to the government, or were in any way responsible for the negligent wastage of public funds. Ironic, is it not? Just after the RCMP release their report, stating that they used the funds allotted to them responsibly, and were still able to keep on top of their other obligations, the Province responds that the RCMP is dangerously lacking in control and accountability, and needs to be reigned in.
To many of us, who have listened to the guile spewed forth by BC’s Liberal government for more than a decade, the timing of any such call usually entails that either another scandal has just been uncovered, or one is about to be. The RCMP is a Federal organization, and a corrupt provincial regime, whose hold on power only continues because the province has no other choice, cannot expect to be given control. Indeed, the Provincial government has proven time and again that they feel above the law. To put them in control of the organization that investigates their abuses of power would not create accountability within the RCMP, but destroy it utterly within the government.
The RCMP are not without flaws, no one can deny that. However their track-record is still a good one. They are famed the world over for integrity, honesty, duty, honour, and for “always getting their man (or woman).” They are, by and large an upstanding, well respected police force, who do an amazing job keeping us safe, throughout the country. The current BC government, however, has a very different reputation. Two weeks after cancelling provincial funding for road-checks, the Premier gets arrested for driving under the influence, albeit out side of the province. Did he step down? Was he held accountable for his actions? The answer to both is no. The province of BC is known for having the worst legislation in Canada for protecting workers rights. Crown corporations have been sold off to friends of the Liberals. The government lies to the people, cuts jobs, wastes tax-dollars for personal gain, and imposes and raises taxes with impunity; personally, I would be more inclined to have faith in the RCMP.