RCMP ‘inept, outdated,’ Cummins says

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins is calling for an independent review of a force he calls "inept and outdated."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B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins says there needs to be an independent review of a force he calls “inept and outdated.”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

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

Man seriously hurt after police shooting near Nelson

Incident has been reported to provincial police watchdog

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read