Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the first female commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Friday.
Brenda Lucki will head up Canada’s national police force, founded in 1873.
“I’m very, very excited about being able to appoint the absolute best person for the job to be commissioner of the RCMP, who just happens to be a woman,” Trudeau said.
However, reports from last year stated that Trudeau was determined to select a woman for the job.
Trudeau made the announcement at the RCMP’s academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. During both Trudeau’s remarks and Lucki’s speech, two female cadets in the audience fainted — apparently from the heat in the room.
Trudeau was in Saskatchewan to address a Liberals’ fundraiser and to meet with the new premier of the province to try to convince him to implement a carbon tax. Premier Scott Moe said he was unmoved and would continue to refuse to put an environmental levy on the price of gasoline.
The prime minister also took up one of his favorite themes while in the province: “reconciliation” with First Nations people. Trudeau had publicly criticized a jury’s decision to acquit a Saskatchewan farmer last month of second degree murder charges in the death of native Colten Boushie, who was leading a home invasion.
“Obviously we are all aware that Reconciliation is process that needs to touch all Canadians and all institutions across our country, whether it’s policing, whether it’s our judicial system, whether it’s education, or economic development or health,” Trudeau told reporters Friday.
The new RCMP commissioner said she would “continue to work towards a modern police force. It’s only together that we can build and maintain relationships based on trust, and it’s only together that we can build an RCMP that is reflective of our diverse population.”