(OTTAWA) Despite recent heavy criticism, the RCMP hopes to use its 150th anniversary to boost recruitment.

In its report released last week, the public inquiry into the April 2020 shootings in Nova Scotia torpedoed federal police for their many failures in how they responded to Canada’s worst mass shooting. She recommended that the federal government rethink the central role of the RCMP.

The report was released two months before the RCMP’s 150th anniversary on May 23.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act indicate that the Mounted Police have been preparing for this jubilee since last summer. And she does not intend to adjust her plans in light of recent criticism.

The various sections of the RCMP plan to hold rallies. The Federal Police has also ordered thousands of souvenir cards and commemorative coins for its members.

She also hopes to convince Google to post a cartoon of the RCMP on its search bar. She is also counting on sports leagues like the Canadian Football League to mark the anniversary.

The RCMP hopes that this anniversary will stimulate recruitment for the next two years.

“This is an important moment for the RCMP and our country. Canada’s 156-year history cannot be told without the contribution of the RCMP over the past 150 years,” a document read.

Robin Percival, a spokeswoman, says the federal police want to acknowledge its historic past, celebrate its members and highlight its modernization. It also intends to make progress in reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples and to highlight its pride in its members.

Jeffrey Monaghan, a criminology professor at Carleton University, predicts that the image of the RCMP will be “romanticized” during its next birthday, at a time when its very existence hangs in the balance.

According to him, wanting to tie the history of the RCMP to that of Canada creates an obstacle to reforms within the institution.

“Certain people and certain aspects of the organization have become very invested in this romantic and benevolent myth of the Mounted Police,” he says.

Professor Monaghan laments that the RCMP has become one big “police bureaucracy” dealing with everything from national security to ensuring northern communities have access to court.

One of the few solutions is to ask the RCMP to carry out fewer missions.

The National Police Federation (NPF), the union that represents RCMP officers, has yet to respond directly to the commission’s recommendation to abandon the current 26-week training model in Regina. This Training Academy would be replaced by a three-year, diploma-based education model, as exists in Finland.

Responding to La Presse Canadienne on the 150th anniversary, NPF President Brian Sauvé said it takes time to sort out recruiting issues. He made this statement before the publication of the report.

Mr. Sauvé says the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the RCMP to close its academy several times, which has delayed the training of new recruits. Officers have a heavier burden on their shoulders since many police officers have retired earlier.

“We’ve been asking more and more of our members over the past decade,” he says.

The situation prompted the union to launch its own campaign to build interest in a career with the RCMP, Sauvé adds.

Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, says it is difficult for an Inuit to become a police officer or work in the RCMP. He recalls that the history of policing in northern communities is “long and complicated”.

He hopes the 150th anniversary will allow the RCMP to address the gaps that still exist. And instead of just focusing on the difficult relationship between the RCMP and Inuit, federal policing could take the opportunity to commit to “building a new relationship” and eliminating systemic racism.

Native Women’s Association of Canada CEO Lynne Groulx says federal policing should use her birthday to celebrate reconciliation and “what it means to the RCMP.”

“How will she regain the trust of the native peoples?” This distrust took time to develop. Restoring trust will take time. »