Minister Goodale has served a long career in politics, and with recent file hand-off's Canadians are left wondering if that career should sail off into the sunset. Earlier last year the federal government introduced a brand new Ministry and bureaucratic position for ex-cop turned MP Bill Blair - Minister of Border Security & Organized Crime. Under this shiny new position falls the duties previously under the purview of Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness; migration, C-71 & handgun ban, drugs, travel, pot and organized crime like gangs.
While the majority of these files work in tandem with the RCMP, they remained under the supervision of Goodale, and no government department or agency reports to Blair. Basically, the Minister of nothing since all the files he works on eventually report back to Goodale. So why the addition of a Minister without governance over the files and agencies he is tasked with working on.
I've got my suspicions, but I'll save that until the end.
Next, this week, we have an announcement out of Public Safety that Minister Goodale will be appointing a "civilian watchdog advisory board" to try and clean up the mess over at the RCMP. Currently, the nation's police force is struggling under the heavy burden of over 1000 complaints of internal bullying and harassment, discrimination, lawsuits, workplace violence and sexual harassment - between officers. Yes - you read that right.
So now we have another level of bureaucracy added to the "watching over" of the RCMP. Watching over the way they treat each other … In a May 2017 video on Global, legal counsel for an officer who sued the RCMP stated that the most prolific offense committed by officers is "abuse of authority". Something very unbecoming of our nations police force - a symbol of national pride and heritage.
The 13 member civilian board will be up and running as employees by April 1, 2019 - and made permanent in legislation in the spring.
Everything you need to know about this is in this article: Global News - RCMP Advisory Board - Bullying & Harrassment
I understand there are problems in every workplace but I can't help but feel our federal police force can … no, MUST do better. Considering C-71 gives the RCMP sweeping powers over classification and re-classification of firearms, this doesn't exactly instill a whole ton of confidence at this point. How will they manage millions of gun owners who are upset over arbitrary re-classifications (with no parliamentary oversight) when they can't seem to get it together amongst themselves. Any other workplace you would be immediately fired for this kind of behaviour issues so why do we let it persist to the point we need to create an entire bureaucratic system just do deal with internal violence, harassment and abuse of power? Where is the leadership Ralph …
This is beyond bizarre.
I touched on C-71 just now, yet another thing handed off by Goodale: firearms classification. The Liberals have C-71 in the Senate stage, a bill that hands over any responsibility for classifying firearms to the RCMP. Yes - the very organization currently needing an entire panel of watchdogs to govern their behaviour at work and abuse of power. Now they are free to classify as they wish, with no parliamentary oversight, no accountability and no recourse for anyone run over in their path. What could possibly go wrong?
Absurd. This is not how democracy works.
I could get into the border/migration issues and the ISIS stories - but we'll leave those failures for another time.
Now to my final point.
Why is the Minister handing off so many of his responsibilities, while remaining the Minister of an ever-shrinking portfolio? Why not just resign the title, or refrain from running in the upcoming federal election? Because income, that's why. Pensions are calculated by their "best 6 years" so maintaining your Ministerial title (and paycheck) is vital. What else can it be? Cabinet Minister's earn a salary of over $250 000 annually. That's over a quarter million dollars a year - a lot of money when you've handed off most of your files.
In any event, Canadians can't help but notice the Goodale ship is sinking and the Liberal party is all too happy to accommodate with more bureaucracy, more staff, more administration and of course, more spending.