More heat on the RCMP

The RCMP’s public relations keep taking media hits. Now an  investigator that was appointed by the government to look into the RCMP pension scandal has reported that the RCMP is “horribly broken”and lays much of the blame on the shoulders of former RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli.

Former RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli was an autocratic leader who punished whistle-blowers in the force’s pension-fund scandal and dragged his feet on launching criminal investigations, a government-appointed investigator has found.

Lawyer David Brown concluded that the RCMP’s management is “horribly broken” and needs to be fixed quickly.

He called for a task force to find ways to revamp the force, limiting the absolute power of the commissioner and replacing its “paramilitary” command structure with checks and balances and real oversight by a review board.

My opinion of Zaccardelli was coloured years ago when it was revealed that he had expensed out a pair of $1,100 riding boots. At that point he seemed to me more like a fat-cat bureaucrat than a leader of a prestigious police force.

In fact the Canadian Taxpayers Association made him one of the nominees for the  Ted Weatherill (the Teddies) award (federal area) in 2002. Their website states that “the Teddies are awarded annually to a public office holder, civil servant, department or agency, that most exemplifies government waste, overspending, over-taxation, excessive regulation, lack of accountability, or any combination of the five.

Zaccardelli was nominated for:

Most Original Use of Leather in Public Service: RCMP Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli for spending $1,064 on ceremonial leather riding boots and $180,000 on executive office renovations including $30,000 on leather furniture and $42,000 in bathroom upgrades.

Unfortunately he lost out to the eventual winner, the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) for its $433,000 name change from Farm Credit Corporation to Farm Credit Canada. Saying that “never in the history of Canada have taxpayers paid so much for one word”.

Obviously the RCMP aren’t the only problem in Ottawa but it seems obvious they have problems that need to be fixed, if there is a will to do so.


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