RCMP needs to reflect on its own 0
Revelations in Sunday's The Province newspaper about the dysfunction within the RCMP's Special Operations section shouldn't come as a big shock - at least to anyone following the tales of sexual and general harassment being told in the media by Cpl. Catherine Galliford and others.
The manipulation of the system so that section head Staff-Sgt. Travis Pearson could have trysts with female members is nothing new.
Nor is the alleged bullying and admitted inappropriate sexual relationships he'd had with subordinates.
But, what was truly illuminating, and frankly shameful, was the interaction of Supt. Lorne Schwartz, who was Pearson's direct report, and Nancy Hirschkorn, a civilian financial administrator in Pearson's section.
Hirschkorn was directed to take her complaints to Schwartz by Chief Supt. Marianne Ryan who outranked Schwartz. She did and was abruptly and rudely dismissed by Schwartz. According to sources in The Province story, she was "chastised" by Schwartz who also said he will not be "put on display" and "does not report to Ryan."
The arrogance displayed by Schwartz to Hirschkorn is incredible and a perfect illustration of the "old boys club" that Galliford has been railing about. Why would a senior officer blow off a civilian financial administrator trying to bring to light information about financial abuse?
Simple. The old boys club will do anything they can to stop anyone blowing the whistle on anything wrong with the force. Especially, more so, if the wrongdoer is a member of the selfsame "old boys club."
Thou shalt not do or say anything that might put a stain on the Red Serge. We have seen this time and again. Whether it was Cpl. Robert Read who tried to do the right thing in reporting corruption and international conspiracy, in what became the Project Sidewinder outrage during Jean Chretien's tumultuous and scandal-ridden time in the prime minister's office, or the shameful way the "old boys club" trashed the career of Sgt. Bob Stenhouse, who also tried to do the right thing relating to the way the RCMP investigates motorcycle gangs.
What the RCMP needs to understand is they aren't perfect.
All organizations have their problem children. The law of averages dictates that this is so.
The mark of a good organization is one that admits the problem, fixes it and moves on. The force seems utterly incapable of the first step in admitting it has problems within. Instead, it trashes careers of good officers trying to do the right thing and shields cads like Pearson.
It's not a hard fix - do the right thing.
For an organization whose motto is 'Maintain the right' that shouldn't be hard, should it?