Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro is calling for the firing of the RCMP commissioner.
“Alberta has lost confidence in RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and is calling on Canada’s minister of public safety, Marco Mendicino, to immediately rescind her appointment,” said Shandro, in a statement released Wednesday morning.”
Shandro says that in the last two years, the commissioner has failed to deal with “systemic racism” in the RCMP and has risked the integrity of the investigation into the Nova Scotia mass shooting in April 2020.
Gabriel Wortman, of Dartmouth, N.S., assaulted his common-law wife on the night of April 18, 2020, and then fatally shot 13 people in Portapique, N.S., while disguised as a Mountie and driving a car resembling an RCMP cruiser.
The next day, he killed another nine people — including an RCMP officer and a pregnant woman — before he was shot and killed by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S.
Shandro also criticized the commissioner’s role in the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
“Further, as revealed last week, she failed to inform the federal cabinet of all law enforcement options available prior to the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.
Paul McLauchlan, president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), hopes that Shandro and his federal counterpart have discussed concerns rather than just releasing a statement.
“It’s not what I’ve normally seen. It seems very political,” said McLauchlin.
“Is this connected to the other gestures related to the RCMP. I would just be speculating, but I think there is a broader attempt to soften the ground, as it were, for a future shift that’s been proposed by this government.”
The UCP government has suggested the province would be better off replacing its RCMP contracts with a provincial police force to better respond to rural crime. The RMA opposes the move, saying it would be costly and do nothing to combat the issues around rural crime.
Shandro said in two major inquiries Lucki was given an opportunity to take accountability and show Canadians the RCMP leadership could make changes to ensure “errors of judgment” were not repeated.
“Instead, commissioner Lucki, in sworn testimony, has dodged accountability and excused her actions,” he says.
“So far, Minister Mendicino has stood idly by while commissioner Lucki has failed to meet even the most meagre of standards for the past two years.
“This is an abrogation of the minister’s core responsibility to Canadians and must be rectified before the RCMP’s reputation as Canada’s federal police service is further damaged.”