42% of Canadians believe the RCMP is not advancing “reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples: EKOS poll

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo by Gidimt’en Checkpoint. Poll graphic by EKOS Research Associates.

On December 26, the Canadian Press reported: “A poll commissioned by the force earlier this year showed only 51 per cent of Canadians believe the Mounties are honest, a drop of five percentage points from the year before. Only a third of Canadians feel the RCMP treat visible minorities and Indigenous people fairly.”

The poll, released in April 2022, was conducted by EKOS Research Associates for the RCMP.

It also found that 49 per cent of respondents disagree with the statement: “The RCMP treats Indigenous peoples fairly.”

Chart 36 of the poll also finds that 42 per cent of respondents disagree with the statement: “The RCMP is … advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples of Canada.”

Chart 51 further shows that number of people who agree with this statement has dropped from 43 per cent in 2019/20 to 33 per cent in 2021/22.

The full poll can be seen at 2021-22 Canadians’ Views of RCMP Policing Services Final Report.

There are no specific questions in the poll about the Community-Industry Response (C-IRG).

In Montreal earlier this month, Wet’suwet’en land defender Sleydo’ described the RCMP and C-IRG as “the private mercenaries for industry and governments”

C-IRG officers are present on Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia enabling the construction of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline without the free, prior and informed consent of the Hereditary Chiefs.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has repeatedly called on Canada to halt construction of this pipeline and “the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is financing this pipeline (and violation of Indigenous rights and rights of land defenders).

Stand.earth has documented: “RBC provided CAD $275 million in project finance –  including a co-financed $6.5 billion loan and a $40 million corporate loan, and $200 million in co-financed working capital – while acting as financial advisor for the pipeline. RBC also holds over 85 million shares in TC Energy, which translates to about 8.6% of the company or more than a $1.03 billion-dollar stake (at $58/share).”

According to this Coastal GasLink monthly report (issued on December 21, 2022) on construction in “Section 7” south of Houston: “32.4% of pipe installed, includes activities from stringing through to backfilling”. This is the area that involves CGL drilling under Wedzin Kwa (or as the company refers to it, the Morice River).

The C-IRG is becoming known for its brutality towards land defenders, as noted in this Briarpatch magazine article: The C-IRG: the resource extraction industry’s best ally (by Molly Murphy and Research for the Front Lines).

On November 24, 2022, the BC Federation of Labour convention unanimously passed this resolution calling for the C-IRG to be disbanded.

Peace Brigades International-Canada supports the call for the C-IRG to be disbanded and will be working on this issue in 2023.

Further reading: PBI-Canada supports the call for the RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) to be abolished (December 16, 2022).

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