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Canada appoints first female RMCP commissioner

10 March 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Brenda Lucki as the new commissioner of the Mounties Friday morning during a visit to the RCMP training academy at Regina's Depot division, where Lucki is now the commanding officer. "I will not have all the answers, but I definitely plan on asking all the right questions".

"I plan to challenge assumptions, seek explanations and better understand the reasons how we operate". The 32-year veteran of the force said she will leave no stone unturned in her efforts to modernize the Mounties.

She has an arts degree from the University of Alberta and has received a number of awards, including being named a Member of the Governor General's Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2013 for her work on improving RCMP relations with First Nations people in Manitoba.

Friday's appointment comes at a time when the force's relations with Indigenous communities are particularly strained. Stanley was acquitted last month, prompting accusations of bias against Indigenous people by both the police and the justice system as a whole. During his tenure, Paulson gave a tearful apology as the national police force reached a settlement agreement over a series of harassment, discrimination and sexual abuse claims that deeply embarrassed the force.

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Commissioner-designate Lucki said she wants to work together to work towards a modern police service, to build an RCMP reflective of Canada's diverse population.

Brenda Lucki has been named the RCMP's new commissioner, the first woman to take on the top post permanently.

The replacement for Bob Paulson, who retired in June 2017, was chosen by a six-woman, three-man committee led by Frank McKenna, the former premier of New Brunswick who also served as Canada's ambassador to the United States.

"It's a great day for the RCMP and a great day for Canada", Trudeau said, adding Lucki is "absolutely" the best person for the job who just happens to be a woman.

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"She will also play a vital role in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, promoting gender equality and equity, supporting mental wellness across the RCMP, addressing workplace harassment and protecting the civil liberties of all Canadians", he said.

A Selection Committee for the position of Commissioner of the RCMP was established as an independent, non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide recommendations to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on a list of highly qualified candidates for this position. With the likelihood of a new union for RCMP members and the aftermath following a class action lawsuit over harassment in its ranks, there is work to do.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make the announcement Friday morning at his scheduled event at the RCMP Academy in Regina, Sask.

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Canada appoints first female RMCP commissioner