RCMP said it will pay the penalties set out in the court decision. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

RCMP won’t appeal conviction on Labour Code charges related to Moncton shooting

OTTAWA — The RCMP says it will not appeal its conviction on Labour Code charges related to a 2014 shooting in Moncton, N.B., that left three officers dead and two injured.

The force was convicted in September of failing to provide members with the appropriate training and equipment to deal with an active shooter event.

It was sentenced in January to pay $550,000, including a $100,000 fine and $450,000 in charitable donations.

The RCMP said in a statement that it will pay the penalties set out in the decision from New Brunswick Provincial Court Judge Leslie Jackson.

“While this concludes the legal process … that day will continue to live with us forever,” the force’s statement read.

“We will never forget our fallen, (Constables) Doug Larche, Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan, and the sacrifice they made. We must also continue to support all others who were affected that day by this tragic event.”

In sentencing the force, Jackson said high-powered carbine rifles could have made a difference for the officers targeted by gunman Justin Bourque. The guns were approved in 2011, but their rollout was repeatedly delayed.

“It is clear to me … that the provision of carbines to responding members on June 4, 2014, could have reduced the number of deaths and/or injuries,” Jackson said during sentencing last month, while acknowledging that the force’s post-incident response has been “robust.”

Then-commissioner Bob Paulson testified during the trial that RCMP management had concerns over the potential militarization of the force. He told the court he worried that the carbines could “distance the public from the police.”

Those comments were met with anger and frustration from some members of the force.

Bourque had targeted police in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion. He later pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years.

The majority of the RCMP’s penalty, $300,000, will go toward a memorial scholarship at the Université de Moncton, while another $60,000 will go toward education funds for the children of the fallen officers.

The rest will be split between the Threads of Life Society, which helps families after a workplace injury or death, and Valour Place Society, which provides help for police, first responders, soldiers and veterans needing medical services in the Edmonton area.

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