This Smile is dedicated to Russell Waugh, Detachment Commander (ret’d), RCMP.
On this Day:
In 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police formed as the Royal Northwest Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; GRC), often known as the Mounties, are the federal and national police service of Canada, providing law enforcement at the federal level. The RCMP also provide provincial policing in eight of Canada’s provinces (all except Ontario and Quebec) and local policing on a contract basis in the three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon) and more than 150 municipalities, 600 Indigenous communities, and three international airports. The RCMP do not provide active provincial or municipal policing in Ontario or Quebec. However, all members of the RCMP have jurisdiction as a peace officer in all provinces and territories of Canada. Despite the name, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are no longer an actual mounted police service, with horses only being used at ceremonial events.
As Canada’s national police service, the RCMP are primarily responsible for enforcing federal laws throughout Canada, whereas general law and order including the enforcement of the Criminal Code and applicable provincial legislation is constitutionally the responsibility of the provinces and territories. Larger cities may form their own municipal police departments.
The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, maintain provincial forces: the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sûreté du Québec. The other eight provinces contract policing responsibilities to the RCMP, which provides front-line policing in those provinces under the direction of the provincial governments. When Newfoundland joined the confederation in 1949, the RCMP entered the province and absorbed the Newfoundland Ranger Force, which patrolled most of Newfoundland’s rural areas. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary patrols urban areas of the province. In the territories, the RCMP is the sole territorial police force. Many municipalities throughout Canada contract to the RCMP. Thus, the RCMP polices at the federal, provincial, and municipal level. In some areas of Canada, it is the only police force.
The RCMP is responsible for much of Canada security and policing. Under their federal mandate, the RCMP police throughout Canada, including Ontario and Quebec (albeit on smaller scales there). Federal operations include: enforcing federal laws including commercial crime, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, border integrity (excluding border control responsibilities exercised by the Canada Border Services Agency), organized crime, and other related matters; providing counter-terrorism and domestic security; providing protection services for the Canadian monarch, governor general, prime minister, their families and residences, and other ministers of the Crown, visiting dignitaries, and diplomatic missions; and participating in various international policing efforts.
Under provincial and municipal contracts the RCMP provides front-line policing in all areas outside of Ontario and Quebec that do not have an established local police force. There are detachments located in small villages in the far north, remote First Nations reserves, and rural towns, but also larger cities such as Surrey, British Columbia (population 580,360). There, support units investigate for their own detachments as well as smaller municipal police forces. Investigations include major crimes, homicides, forensic identification, collision forensics, police dogs, emergency response teams, explosives disposal, and undercover operations. Under its National Police Services branch the RCMP supports all police forces in Canada via the Canadian Police Information Centre, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Canadian Firearms Program, and the Canadian Police College.
After Canada purchased Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald began planning a permanent force to patrol the territory. Reports from army officers surveying the territory led to the recommendation that a mounted force of between 100 to 150 mounted riflemen could maintain law and order. The prime minister first announced the force as the “North West Mounted Rifles”. Macdonald received his inspiration for the creation of the force from the Royal Irish Constabulary, a quasi-military British police force in Ireland from 1822 to 1922.
The force was renamed the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) when formed in 1873, following the passage of the Mounted Police Act in Parliament. The NWMP from the outset enforced territorial acquisitions of Canada’s westward expansion, and served alongside British imperial forces internationally. Officials in the United States raised concerns that an armed force along the border was a prelude to a military buildup.
The force added “royal” to its name in 1904, after having been awarded the title for military service in the Second Boer War. It merged with the Dominion Police, the main police force for all points east of Manitoba, in 1920 and was renamed the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police”. The new organization was charged with federal law enforcement in all the provinces and territories, and immediately established its modern role as protector of Canadian national security, as well as assuming responsibility for national counterintelligence.
As part of its national security and intelligence functions, the RCMP infiltrated ethnic or political groups considered to be dangerous to Canada. This included the Communist Party of Canada, but also a variety of Indigenous, minority cultural and nationalist groups. The force was also deeply involved in immigration matters, and especially deportations of suspected radicals. They were especially concerned with Ukrainian groups, both nationalist and socialist. The Chinese community was also targeted because of disproportionate links to opium dens. Historians estimate two percent of the Chinese community was deported between 1923 and 1932, largely under the provisions of the Opium and Narcotics Drugs Act.
Besides the RCMP’s new responsibilities in intelligence, drug enforcement, and immigration, the force also assisted numerous other federal agencies with tasks such as enforcing attendance of Indigenous children at Indian residential schools, designed to assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture.
In 1935, the RCMP, collaborating with the Regina Police Service, crushed the On-to-Ottawa Trek by sparking the Regina Riot, in which one city police officer and one protester were killed. The Trek, which had been organized to call attention to conditions in relief camps, therefore failed to reach Ottawa, but nevertheless had political reverberations. The RCMP also had four officers killed in Saskatchewan and Alberta that year in the 1935 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Killings.
The RCMP employed special constables to assist with strikebreaking in the interwar period. For a brief period in the late 1930s, a volunteer militia group, the Legion of Frontiersmen, were affiliated with the RCMP. Many members of the RCMP belonged to this organization, which was prepared to serve as an auxiliary force. In later years, special constables performed duties such as policing airports and, in some Canadian provinces, the courthouses.
1932 saw the men, vehicles and vessels of the Customs Preventive Service, National Revenue, absorbed by the RCMP. This created the Marine Section and the Excise Section. The acquisition of the RCMP schooner St. Roch facilitated the first effective patrol of Canada’s Arctic territory. It was the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940–1942), the first to navigate the passage in one season (from Halifax to Vancouver in 1944), the first to sail either way through the passage in one season, and the first to circumnavigate North America (1950) [Editor: The St. Roch is on display as part of the Marine Museum in Vancouver, BC, Canada].
Counterintelligence work was moved from the RCMP’s Criminal Investigation Department to a specialized intelligence branch, the RCMP Security Service, in 1939.
On April 1, 1949, Newfoundland joined in full confederation with Canada and the Newfoundland Ranger Force amalgamated with the RCMP.
Following the 1945 defection of Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, and his revelations of espionage, the RCMP Security Service implemented measures to screen out “subversive” elements from the public sector.
In June 1953, the RCMP became a full member of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).
Queen Elizabeth II approved in Regina, Saskatchewan, on July 4, 1973, a new badge for the RCMP, in recognition of which the force presented the sovereign with a tapestry rendering of the new design.
In 2007, the RCMP was named Newsmaker of the Year by The Canadian Press.
On June 3, 2013, the RCMP renamed its ‘A’ Division to National Division and tasked it with handling corruption cases “at home and abroad”.
The RCMP also has an aviation security division, the Sky Marshals (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
Recently, during a routine patrol, an RCMP patrolman parked down the street, outside a Legion Hall just off the main Street in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada.
After last call, the officer observed a man leaving the Legion Hall. The gentleman was so intoxicated that he could barely walk. He then stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing.
After what seemed an eternity and trying his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car, which he fell into. He sat there for a few minutes and then threw a hook and line out the window and seemed to be trying to catch a fish. A number of other patrons paid no attention to this crazy drunk as they left the bar and drove off.
Finally the drunk started the car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a fine, dry summer night) flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn, and switched on the headlights.
He then pulled in the hook and line and moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patron vehicles left. At last, the parking lot was empty; he pulled out of the parking lot and started to drive slowly down the road.
The officer, having patiently waited all this time, now started up the patrol car, put on the flashing lights, and promptly pulled the man over. He performed a Breathalyzer test on the gentleman who cooperated fully, and to his amazement, the Breathalyzer indicated no evidence of the man having consumed any alcohol at all!
Dumbfounded, the officer said, I will have to ask you to accompany me to the detachment headquarters. This portable breathalyzer equipment must be broken.”
“I doubt it,” said the truly proud Manitoban, “Tonight I’m the designated decoy.”
Second, a Song:
Bryan Guy Adams OC OBC (born 5 November 1959) is a Canadian guitarist, singer, composer, record producer, and photographer. Adams has sold between 75 and 100 million records and singles worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Adams was the most played artist on Canadian radio in the 2010s and has had 25 Top 15 singles in Canada, and a dozen or more in each of the US, UK, and Australia.
Adams joined his first band at age 15, and at age 20 his eponymous debut album was released. He rose to fame in North America with the 1983 Top 10 album Cuts Like a Knife, featuring its title track and the ballad “Straight From the Heart”, his first US Top 10 hit. His 1984 album, Reckless, made him a global star with tracks like “Run to You” and “Summer of ’69”, both Top 10 hits in the US and Canada, and the power ballad “Heaven”, a US number 1 hit. His 1987 album Into the Fire went to number 2 in Canada and the Top 10 in several other countries.
In 1991, Adams’s released “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, which went to number 1 in at least 19 countries, including for 16 and 18 straight weeks in the UK, and Europe overall, both records. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. The song was included on Adams’ Waking Up the Neighbours (1991), a worldwide number 1 album that sold 16 million copies, including being certified diamond in Canada. Other international hits off the album were the Canadian number 1 songs “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” and “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven”. Beginning in 1993, Adams’ hits were mostly ballads, including the worldwide number 1 or 2 hits “Please Forgive Me” (1993); “All for Love” (1993); and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (1995), the latter two topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 1996, Adams’ 18 til I Die was a Top 5 album in many countries, but only reached number 31 in the US. He did duets with Barbra Streisand (“I Finally Found Someone” (1996), his last US Top 10 hit) and Melanie C (“When You’re Gone” (1998), an international Top 5 hit). In the 1990s, Adams had six European Radio Airplay number 1 songs for 32 weeks, the fourth and third most, respectively; and three number 1 songs on the European Sales Chart for 29 weeks total, the most weeks of any artist. Since 1999, Adams released seven albums, three reaching number 1 in Canada, and most reaching the Top 10 in the UK, Germany and elsewhere.
In 2008, Adams was ranked 38th on the list of all-time top artists on the Billboard Hot 100. Adams has won 20 Juno Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television amongst 15 Grammy nominations, and has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards for his songwriting for films. Adams has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. On 1 May 2010, Adams received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for his 30 years of contributions to the arts.
Jordan Webb did this tribute to honour the fallen RCMP officers in Moncton, courtesy of YouTube.com set to “Don’t Let Go” by Bryan Adams. I hope you enjoy this.
Thought for the Day:
“You’re the first real man I ever met… brave, strong, chivalrous, with great, yes, great ideals — a fairy Prince, A Knight of the Round Table.” — Woman impressed by a Mountie in Harwood Steele’s 1923 novel, Spirit of Iron.
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Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky
Love the Flin Flon reference