First Female RCMP Chief Under Fire For Saying Women May Be Less Suited For Mounties

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

The commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is under fire for saying — during a hearing about missing and murdered indigenous women — that she doesn’t believe the active Mounties will ever reach full gender equity.

“The RCMP is primarily rural police,” Commissioner Brenda Lucki said, “so it’s very difficult.”

Lucki explained that in order to perform their required duties, Mounties must routinely leave behind their family and support structures — and claimed that comparisons between the RCMP (22 percent female) and urban police forces like Toronto (where 48 percent of hires were female) were unfair.

“You’re dealing with an urban environment where you’re primarily recruiting in an urban area. There’s no mobility concerns as far as people being able to stay their entire career in Toronto.”

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Beth Symes, who represents the indigenous women, called Lucki’s explanation “utter nonsense” and argued that there were plenty of women who would take up the responsibility and the challenges. She said, “It is essential that the number of women in the RCMP as regular members has got to equal the population. She (Lucki) is going to have to change how she does policing in order to achieve that. But to say that we’re stuck at 22 percent is just a no go.”

Lucki is the first female to earn the position of RCMP Commissioner — and after 32 years of service, she took the post with one simple promise: to promote a “more tolerant, more inclusive and absolutely more respectful” RCMP ready to serve the citizens.

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