Monday, May 02, 2016
Why the RCMP Commissioner Still Doesn't Get It
It seems only appropriate that on the very day Mike Duffy returned to the Senate, the RCMP Commissioner should appear before a Senate committee and show once again why he still doesn't get it.
And that a time when the RCMP is being rocked by allegations of incompetence and sexual harassment.
He should defend the force.
And blame its critics and its victims.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson came under fire Monday afternoon before the Senate national security committee, where he was hit repeatedly with accusations that recent harassment scandals are “destroying” Canadians’ faith in the force and asked why the force isn’t moving to establish an independent review body.
“There’s a couple of things destroying the faith that Canadians have and one of those is the irresponsible representation of the facts from within the organization without a definitive, proper hearing to establish that,” Paulson said.
Even though this scandal couldn't be more grotesque.
CBC News published a story in February highlighting allegations against two members of the force that suggested they repeatedly posed nude in the workplace, simulated oral sex and in one case, dumped what they reportedly claimed was pubic hair on a communal eating area.
And Paulson's response to claims the investigation was tainted couldn't be more outrageous...
Paulson said the force can screen for those kinds of things but did not explain why one of the individuals involved in investigating the Canadian Police College complaints was allowed to handle that file despite his own history as the subject of harassment complaints.
“Who among us is blemish-free?” he responded.
Especially since today's appearance came only two days after Paulson shot his own credibility in the foot, with this speeding ticket tale.
He talked about speeding down B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway with some family members last year and being pulled over by an RCMP officer. Paulson got some laughs when he mimicked the horrified reaction of the officer who suddenly realized he had just pulled over the big boss and who now faced the decision of whether or not to issue him a ticket.
Only to try to deny the story.
Later, talking to reporters, Paulson was clearly not pleased when the speeding incident came up. At first, he said, "Aw, it was just a story I made up." Pressed further, he changed course, saying, "No, I don't want to talk about that. I do not want to talk about that."
And then admit it was true.
Finally Paulson said, "It was a joke," but yes it did happen, and he had been given a warning by the officer rather than a speeding ticket. The final question, which Paulson clearly didn't like, was, "Did you get preferential treatment by not getting a ticket?" Paulson delivered a firm "No" and then, clearly at his limit, ended the news conference.
Which can only raise more disturbing questions and images in my mind...
And yes, this is the bottom line:
If Paulson wants to start repairing his own credibility he needs to explain why the force charged Mike Duffy, but did not charge Nigel Wright...
Which he promised to do ages ago, but still has not done.
And if the RCMP is to heal itself, it needs to establish an independent review body to end its bully culture, and make it a better and safer place for men and women to work.
And if Paulson can't do both then he should resign or be fired...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.