Halifax, NS — Following is a Letter to the Editor from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, in response to recent sensationalized MCC media coverage in the Halifax Examiner:
I am writing in response to yesterday’s article headline, “I don’t know who has command”: RCMP confusion on the ground in Portapique.
Tuesday’s public proceedings of the Mass Casualty Commission outlined the brave actions that RCMP Members took in the chaotic and intense first hours of their response to active shooter calls from Portapique on the night of April 18 and in the early hours of April 19, 2020.
The headline and subheading featured isolated statements – the first by a member who had just arrived on scene after driving from Pictou and was asking for clarification of command, and the second suggesting that anything other than safety motivated the planning to extract the four children — are presented without proper context and create an inaccurate and sensationalized impression of actual events and police response.
In fact, in the very next line of the transcript, in the first instance, the newly arrived Member received a direct response informing him who was in command, and, in the second, additional Members entered the area within minutes to safely bring out the children.
Many Canadians will rely on the news media as their key source of information and opinion on these proceedings; very few will watch the live feed or recordings. Cherry-picking quotes that misrepresent the facts for clickbait is deeply unfair and irresponsible.
The impacted families and first responders, including our Members, deserve responsible journalism from all media covering this important proceeding. Your readers deserve better.
Anything short of a fair and accurate depiction of events jeopardizes the Commission’s important work, and risks frittering away the opportunity for real learning following the loss of life of 22 innocent victims, including that of our Member, Constable Heidi Stevenson.
Brian Sauvé, President
National Police Federation
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 and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Media Contact: Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations