RCMP to hold meetings on rural policing, public safety

Federal public safety minister Ralph Goodale says the public meetings Saskatchewan’s 87 RCMP detachments are holding will help open lines of communication.

Speaking to reporters in Regina March 9, the minister said the fact that people at some of the first meetings have said they would defend their property any way they can is concerning.

“Obviously, people should not contemplate taking the law into their own hands,” he said. “That is a potentially very dangerous attitude. But the fact that some of that attitude exists, I think reflects the fact that there hasn’t been much of a dialogue before.”

The RCMP announced it would hold the townhall style meetings through March and April to discuss local policing priorities and public safety planning.

One of the first meetings was held at Biggar, near where Colten Boushie was shot and killed on Gerald Stanley’s farm in August 2016. Stanley was recently found not guilty of second degree murder.

Reports from that meeting and another in Perdue indicate concern about RCMP response time and questions of how far people can go to defend their property and themselves.

Some have said they would do whatever it takes to keep their families and property safe.

The debate has also ignited in Alberta where a landowner near Okotoks faces charges after a shooting on his property.

Goodale said the problems won’t go away with one or two meetings but being candid is important.

“If we’re going to build a greater sense of safety and security and trust and confidence in the process and in the system then people have to have talked to each other,” he said.

Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe said the conversations happening since Boushie’s death and the trial verdict are difficult, but necessary.

“I commend the RCMP for reaching out to communities,” he said.

He said the talk from members of the public about taking matters into their own hands is why law enforcement should be holding meetings.

And, he said perhaps this will open up greater conversations around the root issues of mental health and addictions that can lead to crime.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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Comments

  • Harold

    Here we go again with the same old stupid saying “taking the law into your own hands”. Just who were the Canadian Laws written for? When a law is written to all Canadians just who the hell does a police officer think they are to suggest that the law be taken from out of my hands? What is in your hands is in your possession. Who can say that they own the law and therefore they may dictate whose hands the law belongs in; Is it a police officer? Were Canadian Laws written for all Canadians to uphold or were they only written for police officers to uphold? I will welcome the police to take the law out of my hands only when they have arrived to uphold that Law on my behalf. To take the laws of theft out of my hands is to give me the permission to commit a theft or to ignore the others who are thieves. The police in their infinite wisdom are telling the law abiding public to take the law and throw it in the garbage. The police in their infinite wisdom believe that a public are law abiding when the public make trash of their own laws. Law Abiding means – to live up to and to carry out the Law. The Police officer also lives up to and carries out the Law but different only in that they are paid to cart the perpetrator of crime away. The policeman in essence is the garbage collector and is a public servant. However, most Canadians do not understand that the police who attend these public forums are only making suggestions as a servant and nothing more. The reason why the RCMP are hosting a public forum of this nature is because the Federal public safety minister Ralph Goodale is a Minister with his tail tucked firmly up and between his legs. This public discussion between the police and the public is a fool’s choice and a fool’s errand. The proper meeting is the meeting between the law makers (politicians and executive branch of government) and the public. You repeal a Law or you create a Law or amend a law, you then change the police and the public’s enforcement so why have the public stooped themselves by listening to the what the RCMP have to say?

  • Doug Swystun

    There are a lot of R M s with no crime I hope this … don’t backfire into a police state where it isn’t required

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