After a string of reports over 10 years, government legislation Bill C-42, and more recently a report by the Senate Defence Committee providing 14 recommendations for change, our offices continue to receive emails from RCMP staff. The emails provide a grim look into the past, and offer little hope for the future. They are from people at the end of their ropes. Reassurances from Ottawa, they tell us, have little impact on their daily lives and they are looking for real change. Those who have publicly spoken out have been chastised for doing so, but most of victims still love the organization and want to lend a hand fixing it. They are asking us: "what's actually changed?" and more importantly, "what's next?"
My advice to Stephen Harper is this: the RCMP needs a union, to improve the lot of the rank and file, to be sure, but also to help managers improve the institution. In fact, I would say forming a union is critical to rehabilitating our national police service, where efforts at reform keep spinning their wheels. .
We all have unlimited responsibility to look after for those who serve when those damages occur. They agree to take personal damage up to, and including, giving their lives in service to us all. Yet we have been evading this responsibility for decades. Perhaps a century. If you ask around, you will find that military and police services are still largely family businesses -- the children of members will likely enlist themselves. Our recruitment forecasts count on that. So what happens when we short-change the veterans?