Ottawa, ON — The following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigation of Wood Buffalo RCMP Members related to a Fort McMurray, Alberta casino complaint:

“Unlike in many other countries, policing in Canada is highly regulated and subject to multiple levels of independent and internal oversight. The NPF supports this oversight and believes complaints against Members of the RCMP and all police – including those related to police use of force — should be investigated fully, fairly, and transparently. We support and serve to protect every Canadians’ right to be treated fairly and equally.

The National Police Federation and its Membership are gravely concerned regarding the public vilification of the Wood Buffalo RCMP Members involved in this incident.

The Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Sections 52 and 53 clearly state that a vehicle without valid registration cannot be driven or operated on any roadway or highway. These Members could not legally allow the vehicle to be driven out of this parking lot.

Traffic stops are some of the most dangerous duties done by police. The unknowns of who the driver or passenger is, their background and intentions, as well as what may be contained within a vehicle out of sight are all risks for both police and the public. For this reason, it is standard preventative practice to ensure drivers or passengers do not repeatedly enter and exit a vehicle during interactions with Members. This standard premise, the driver’s, and passenger’s actions as well as the Members’ response will be considered as part of the investigation.

We also believe that rulings and conclusions in such cases lie with the designated investigating team:  in this case the experienced investigators at ASIRT. Speculation and supposition based on one perspective or one piece of evidence such as a video risks undermining not only the investigation but our Members’ ability to effectively serve their communities. Our Members, like all Canadians, deserve respect. In fact, mutual respect is integral to community and public safety.

As stated on Tuesday, June 9, we hope the review of the Wood Buffalo complaint will be completed and an outcome determined in a reasonable and respectful timeframe for all involved.

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America. The NPF will focus on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information:

Media contact:
Brian Sauvé
National Police Federation
[email protected]
T:  604-861-2684