RCMP receives $15 million from taxpayers to study 'systemic racism'

The RCMP failed to provide True North with a definition of 'systemic racism' in their request for comment.

RCMP receives $15 million from taxpayers to study 'systemic racism'
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Canada's RCMP is spending millions of dollars to study how policing is systemically racist towards minorities while ironically collecting "race-based data." 

A May 5 order paper question filed by Conservative MP John Brassard uncovered taxpayers would fund the RCMP $15.2 million to "address systemic racism" within the police force.

"This project will collect, analyze and communicate race-based data to address systemic racism and discrimination and to improve the cultural awareness of employees and the ability to provide culturally competent policing," reads a federal government briefing note.

The funding commitment ends on March 31, 2027.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Kim Chamberland told True North that collecting race-based data is a "priority modernization initiative" for the RCMP. 

"The collection of this information is imperative to understanding the experiences of Indigenous, Black and racialized individuals and communities during their interactions with RCMP," she emailed.

Chamberland clarified that the information is not used to single out individual members based on their interactions but to identify and address systemic issues affecting their communities through policy.

The RCMP failed to provide True North with a definition of "systemic racism" in their request for comment.

In May, the management advisory board to the federal police board attributed underwhelming recruitment to shifting attitudes towards police and accusations of racism.

"There is no question that recruitment is the top priority within the organization at this time, and we have been building and flying at the same time," said RCMP chief HR officer Nadine Huggins.

"I think that policing writ large is going through a reckoning. The RCMP is no different."

Former RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki concurred that 'systemic racism' existed in her police force. She gave the example of their six-foot broad jump requirement for recruits. 

"Evidence told us that the average person can broad jump their height. There are people in all different cultures that may not be six feet, including not a lot of women that are six feet tall — that would not be able to get through that type of test."

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