There’s been so much written about the apparently cold-blooded killing of a confused traveler by the RCMP – and rightly so. I was disgusted listening to rationalizations of an RCMP spokesman on CBC radio last night.
I think this is perhaps the time to take it one step further: break up the RCMP. In Ontario and Quebec there are provincial police forces that do the vast majority of what the RCMP does in all the other provinces. Before Robert Dziekanski there was Ian Bush, part of 267(!) deaths at the
RCMP’s hands hands of police in BC.
Here’s why a break-up might help: It appears, whenever there are problems with the RCMP they seem to disappear down a bureaucratic rabbit hole. It wasn’t until there was real trouble for the RCMP’s complicity in the rendition of Maher Arar that anyone even knew who Giuliano Zaccardelli was. Giving the RCMP’s role to new provincial forces would shorten and clarify the lines of accountability. When, say, the OPP does mess up, we can draw a line from the officers on the ground right up to the premier if we need to.
Let the RCMP do horse parades and perhaps guard federal buildings and foreign dignitaries (we can work out their new, limited role). I do not have confidence in them to do much else. Dismantle the RCMP.