(Canadian Press)

Trudeau picks woman to head up RCMP

Sources say the prime minister will name Brenda Lucki as the new commissioner of the Mounties

Justin Trudeau is expected Friday to put a woman in charge of the RCMP, signalling a culture change in the national police force which has been beset by complaints about sexual harassment and discrimination against female officers.

Sources say the prime minister will name Brenda Lucki as the new commissioner of the Mounties during a visit to the RCMP training academy at Regina’s Depot division, where Lucki is currently the commanding officer.

A 31-year veteran of the force, Lucki has also served in the former Yugoslavia and assisted in the United Nations civilian police mission in Haiti.

She has received numerous commendations over the years, including a United National Force Commander’s commendation for bravery, two UN protection forces medals, and the Canadian peacekeeping service medal.

According to her RCMP biography, she is also a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in recognition of her work to improve relations with First Nations.

Lucki’s appointment comes amid continuing embarrassing revelations about sexism and sexual misconduct in RCMP ranks, one year after commissioner Bob Paulson apologized for discrimination against female officers and agreed to a $100-million settlement of two class-action lawsuits.

It also comes at a time when the force’s relations with Indigenous people are particularly strained.

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP this week launched an investigation into how the Mounties handled the death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous youth who was shot by a Saskatchewan farmer after driving onto his property. The farmer, Gerald Stanley, was acquitted last month, prompting accusations of bias against Indigenous people by both the police and the justice system as a whole.

The appointment follows the creation last year of an independent, non-partisan selection committee, headed by former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, which earlier this year recommended three contenders for the top job.

In coming up with the short list of highly qualified candidates, the committee was specifically instructed to “seek to support the government of Canada’s commitments to gender parity and representativeness of diversity” in its appointment process.

Lucki will become the first woman to permanently take the helm of the RCMP; Beverley Busson held the post on an interim basis for six months in 2007.

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Wm. E. Hay hands out awards

High School students honoured

Clearview Public Schools requesting modular classrooms for Gus Wetter School

School’s capacity decreased to 305 students from 358

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

UPDATE: Aurora Rafer has been found unharmed

RCMP have a man in custody and continue to investigate

Most Read