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ISBN: 9781552216545-09

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What Is to Be Done with the RCMP?


From: Canadian Policing


In What Is to be Done with the RCMP? author Kent Roach examines the RCMP in Canada and how today the RCMP is charged with enforcing Canadian sovereignty over the increasingly transnational nature of crime, including national security crimes, organized crime, and cybercrime. To complicate matters, the RCMP also acts as the local police outside major cities in eight provinces and all three northern territories. Such local contract policing is no small matter. It takes about 60 percent of the RCMP’s $5-billion budget and 70 percent of its about 20,000 officers. The chapter explores topics such as the underproctecting which has led to the Highway of Tears, and the Portapique Massacre, discrimination within the RCMP forces regarding women and minorities, contract policing, the RCMP’s struggle with handling organized crime, money laundering, human trafficking, and cyber crime in recent decades, and suggests reforms such as abolishing Depot and replacing it with a state-of-the-art college of policing, a more flexible hiring structure, and spending on increasingly specialized workforce to deal with more modern challenges.



Kent Roach

Kent Roach is a professor of law at the University of Toronto. He formerly served as law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court and as director of research to numerous inquiries and reviews, including the Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 and the Independent Review of the Toronto Police’s Missing Persons Investigations that resulted in the Missing and Missed Report (2021) by Justice Gloria Epstein. He also served on the research advisory committees for the Arar and Ipperwash inquiries, which both involved a review of police conduct. He wrote expert reports on police-government relations for Ontario’s Ipperwash Inquiry and Quebec’s Inquiry into the Protection of Journalist Sources. He has served on the expert panels convened by the Canadian Council of Academies that produced Policing in the 21st Century: New Policing for New Challenges (2014) and Towards Peace, Harmony and Well-Being: Policing in Indigenous Communities (2019). He was volume lead for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s volume five on the legacy of residential schools for Indigenous people. Acting pro bono, he has represented Aboriginal Legal Services in a number of Supreme Court cases, including R v Gladue on sentencing and R v Golden on police powers. He is the author with Craig Forcese of False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism, which won the 2016 Canadian Law and Society book prize. His book Canadian Justice Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colton Boushie Case was short-listed for 2019 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize and his Due Process and Victims’ Rights and The Supreme Court on Trial were both shortlisted for the Donner Prize. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2015, and awarded the Molson Prize for contributions to the social sciences and humanities in 2017.