June 24th, 2024

RCMP displaying professionalism and their value during trucker protests


By Lethbridge Herald on February 16, 2022.

GUEST COLUMN

 The past two weeks have been challenging for Canadians across the country. This is true for RCMP members who find themselves once again in the middle of difficult, and often highly politicized protests, while working around the clock to ease tensions and ensure protests do not escalate.

 Across Canada, our members have a sworn duty to keep the peace, regardless of personal opinions or preferences. It’s important to remember that, in general, protests are most often coordinated events, planned far in advance. Our members will connect with protest leaders ahead of time to understand their objectives and to ensure that their right to peaceful assembly is upheld, and they remain in touch for the duration of the protest. They also make it clear to organizers that illegal behaviour won’t be tolerated. 

 On Feb. 8, Acting Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Sonya Savage issued a statement to media on the continuing blockade near the Coutts border crossing, supporting the right of individuals to protest while emphasizing that those rights come with reasonable limits. She followed up with a call on protesters to respect the rule of law and end their blockade, which we hope is heeded, adding, “The RCMP and local law enforcement agencies are on site, sharing information and working in tandem to maintain public safety.”

 During protests like the one near Coutts, our members are working hard to ensure the public remains safe. This involves conversation, negotiation, and, if necessary, enforcement. Keeping open lines of communication is key, and discussions often occur in the background with little to no media coverage or public attention.

 In absence of more direct enforcement tools – such as a Court injunction – the RCMP (and all other police organizations for that matter) operate with a goal of keeping the peace and ensuring protests do not escalate to more serious situations.

 In Alberta, the RCMP’s response can be seen as a shining example of the value members bring to residents across the province as their local, provincial, and federal police. Our members are fully trained officers who undergo specialty training to undertake any situation requiring police intervention. This training helps officers build relationships of trust, respect and mutual understanding between the police and the public during all protest stages: pre-event, event, and post-event. To its advantage, the RCMP’s surge capacity enables members to adapt to several evolving scenarios, from a smaller police presence to a stronger enforcement posture bringing national resources from within the organization to respond to situations like this.

 While this is the case currently, this expertise may be jeopardized with the provincial government’s proposal to replace the Alberta RCMP with a new Alberta provincial police service that would deliver two different tiers of officers, resulting in fewer fully trained officers able to respond to situations such as the one near Coutts, and less equipment and expertise within the organization to adapt to evolving scenarios.

 RCMP members understand and respect the rights surrounding freedom of association and expression. RCMP Members also understand the importance of ensuring communities like Coutts have safe, unobstructed access to the vital services they need, like emergency responders or the economic freedom to transport goods and services across Canada and the border.

 In a delicate balancing game between the rights of protestors and the rights of communities, our Members are there to help. We know it’s frustrating; and our Members feel it too. Blaming or targeting them simply because you disagree with a law is neither fair nor constructive. Our members don’t create the law, but are regularly called on to enforce it using the tools that are available to them.

 For that, we thank them.

 Kevin Halwa, Michelle Boutin and Jeff McGowan are Regional Directors of the National Police Federation, which was certified to represent 20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP members.

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SophieR

We all benefit by rule of law.

And, I think, Kenney’s UCP government has made it abundantly clear why we don’t want a provincial police force.

On the other hand, I think the RCMP has to reflect on their inadequate response to this illegal protest, and I don’t mean giving them more means of force. I mean that they reflect on their unwillingness to engage with people who hold privilege in this society compared to past protests by the oppressed in our society.

What I’m saying is that it is bad optics to hug criminals at the end of a violent standoff. Or, maybe make it a policy for police to hug all people at the end of a demonstration.

Last edited 2 years ago by SophieR
IMO

Hugging the protestors = extremely bad optics. Begs the question as to how many hugs have been extended from the RCMP to Wet’suwet’en land defenders engaged in protecting their unceded territory from Coastal GasLink occupation?
https://canadians.org/analysis/five-things-you-should-know-about-wetsuwetens-fight-their-rights

buckwheat

Ottawa City Police jurisdiction

Southern Albertan

It may be, that other countries are more aware of violent, negative forces at play with these sorts of blockades/actions. First, proactively, and what the federal government is doing now, is making certain areas off limits, including border crossings. But now, if illegal action does happen in these places, will Canadian police action become immediate? i.e. immediate police presence, immediate tear gas, immediate water cannons……It might make one wonder if the first arriving blockaders at Coutts had been met with this sort of thing right away, or, if they would know if this is what would happen, there might be second thoughts of illegal action in the first place. Canadian naivety was on full display here. Time to grow up and get with the program of being more aware of this sort of thing and defending our democracy and glaringly, our capital city. This has served as a real embarrassment for Canada globally.

Southern Albertan

On remembering, when we visited The Netherlands and The Hague recently, and when walking near their Dutch Parliament (States General) there were lines of large, sunken, circular, steel barriers in the approach areas. These would be raised as barriers if there was trouble as was is happening in Ottawa right now. So, a truck blockade would not happen there. One might think twice about messing with Dutch marines either. They wouldn’t piss around.
And their, intelligence might be more up to snuff as well, to head this sort of action off ahead of time.

old school

Interesting article ,clearly written “directors of the NPF”.
I did notice they didn’t elaborate much on the vandalism to construction equipment parked near Coutts. Vandalism on private property by the RCMP, theft of equipment parts by the RCMP. This was on CBC news this past weekend.

SophieR

I encourage you to make a complaint. They might give you a hug.

old school

Sadly , there is no one to make a complaint to. Government , police ,judges are together on police overreach.

biff

too true – this is a major issue, and it has been playing out for too long already. ironically, our privacy, rights and freedoms have been taking a steady hit since our chater of rights and freedoms. papa trudeau, i believe, would not have supported systematic govt intrusion, with the puppet supreme court bowing down to political will with its favourite line: “an acceptable limit on….” papa trudeau, after all, said that govt has no business in our bedrooms – and i suspect he meant that far more broadly than with regard to our sleeping and sexual practices. as it now stands, what we now have, as interpreted by our supreme court, is a charter of limits and privileges.

Older-Than-Old-School

You can complain here all you want, but you would have to take a break from tilting at windmills and shouting at clouds.

Jersey44

Good for the RCMP in being proactive.

biff

hugging is bad! hasn’t anyone been told there is a shamdemic out there?

h2ofield

Get a job, sedentary imbecile!

biff

and the court idiot is back again – the liar, the twit. and ever with support. never an intelligent thought, just insults. and then comes the herd mentality, always supportive of the ignorant bully.
up until the vax mandates and the support of them, i had not been able to see much in the way of evidence to support the “right’s” claim that the “left” bullies and seeks to shut down and shut up differing opinion and preference. but, i’ll be…it is on display in a massive way.