Saturday, July 07, 2007

Harper and Day Do the Right Thing With the New RCMP Commissioner Appointment

I am usually very critical of the Harper Con-government but when they do something right or courageous I will applaud. I think the appointment of William Elliott as the new RCMP Commissioner is both right and courageous. I give this move more than applause. I actually give it a standing ovation. Mr. Elliott has proven to be able and respected in a trans-partisan way, serving in Prime Ministers Mulroney, Martin and now Harper.

The deplorable leadership and inept management culture of the force has been cancerous to the goals of good policing. Commissioner Elliott need not, and should not, wear the red serge uniform of the RCMP. That is something one earns through professional policing and service on the front lines. However he need not wear the uniform to run and reform the organization. He is, by all accounts, a capable and earnest public servant. It is that sense of duty to public service that has been missing in the nepotism and mismanagement of the RCMP leadership of late.

The RCMP is to serve the public and live up to its motto by “Maintaining the Law” we need fundamental change…especially at the top. There is too much evidence showing disturbing incidences were the management and leadership of the RCMP has been in service of more private and personal interests. There are examples where there have even been serious breaches of the law by the RCMP! That is unacceptable and only "serves" (sic) to undermine public confidence in their credibility and ability to maintain the law.

It is time for big changes in how the RCMP is run. That is clear. To presume this can be done only from the “inside” is a privilege that the RCMP, as an organization and an institution, has squandered. To those traditionalists who believe the military culture of a police force cannot be lead by a civilian, they will have to adapt. The RCMP is not just their organization. It is Canada’s police force that has a proud history and was at one time a proud symbol of our country.

It is time to restore the confidence of Canadians in the RCMP and to return it to a reputation as a respected, effective policing authority and an enduring international symbol of what is good about Canada.

Good luck Commissioner Elliott and good job Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day.