RCMP ‘inept, outdated,’ Cummins says

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins is calling for an independent review of a force he calls "inept and outdated."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.

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B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins says there needs to be an independent review of a force he calls “inept and outdated.”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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gibraltar Mine general manager and community sports coach Ben Pierce moved to Williams Lake in 2008 for a career, and has fallen in love with the area while raising his family in the Cariboo. (Photo submitted)
OUR HOMETOWN: Mine manager on solid ground

Juggling academics, sports and a family was a challenge, but Pierce said he and Liselle made it work

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Habitat Remediation Working Group takes a tour in 2020 of what was then the newly-constructed confluence of Edney and Hazeltine Creek channels. Mount Polley Mine is expected to reopen by September, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Mount Polley mine expected to open by fall 2021: Imperial Metals

The reopening will create about 300 full-time mining jobs

The red rock garden in Williams Lake was filled with new rocks in recognition of the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Red rocks left as reminder of missing and murdered local women in Williams Lake

May 5 marked the National Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Most Read