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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Letter to the editor - RCMP actions bring shame upon Canada

A letter to the editor in today's Kingston Whig-Standard:

So, the RCMP has reached a settlement with the mother of Robert Dziekanski, who was fatally assaulted with a Taser in the Vancouver airport for not responding to the commands shouted at him, in a language he didn't understand, during a volatile situation. Both sides have expressed themselves as being satisfied with the financially unspecified settlement, which also included an apology. I am glad that she has finally received some acknowledgement of their horrifying failure in judgment, which took her son from her.

But I am not satisfied, nor should any Canadian citizen be satisfied. Before this is a closed book, I would like the RCMP to apologize to me and to every other Canadian citizen for this terrible act.

As our national police force, and the very symbol of Canada the world over (think back to the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics) they have brought shame upon our nation.

Their actions were so far from reasonable or useful or appropriate that it is hard to imagine how they could have made it worse. I am ashamed of them, and embarrassed that this is something that others in the world might find representative of our country. That is not my Canada. The only way that the RCMP could possibly recover my respect is to own up, talk about what they did wrong, and how they are going to improve things for future encounters, and apologize to the Canadian people.

When we do something wrong to our neighbours, whether on purpose or accidentally, it behooves us to apologize, to try to make amends, to let the other person(s) know that we regret what we did, and that we intend to do better next time. That is what the Canadian people need from the RCMP.

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