AFN, NDP call for Trudeau to remove RCMP Commissioner Lucki
OTTAWA -- Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to remove RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
On Friday, Bellegarde issued a series of tweets in which he asks for Lucki to be replaced with someone “who will focus their attention on public safety and combatting racism.”
Citing several recent examples of issues related to the RCMP’s treatment of First Nations people, Bellegarde said the AFN has “lost confidence” in Lucki’s ability to keep her job as the head of Canada’s national police force.
Asked about the calls for her to be removed, Trudeau said that he’s heard concerns from Canadians about the “functioning” of the RCMP but plans to work with Lucki to keep Canadians safe.
Later Friday, Singh tweeted that he supported Bellegarde’s call, saying she has “defended the failure of the RCMP,” and asked if Trudeau still has confidence in her.
The latest source of tensions between Indigenous people in Canada and the RCMP is the police force’s response to violence amid the ongoing dispute over Mi'kmaq lobster fishing rights in southwestern Nova Scotia.
Earlier this week Lucki defended officers’ actions, after Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Indigenous people “have been let down by the police.”
In an interview on CTV’s Power Play, Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack also backed the calls for Lucki to go. “Unfortunately from the top down it just seems there isn’t a big grip on the racism and what we go through,” he said. “Maybe somebody else needs to be put in place that's well aware of racism and how well and alive it is.”
Lucki has also come under fire in recent months over remarks she’s made, including having to walk back her comments about whether she thought there was systemic racism in the RCMP, and what that looked like in practice.
After initially stating she struggled with “five or six” definitions of systemic racism during an interview with CTV National News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme, Lucki acknowledged that there is racial discrimination within her organization, but not before calls came for her to be fired.
At the time, Sen. Lillian Dyck called for Lucki to leave the RCMP or be let go, stating that “she does not possess the necessary knowledge or skills to remain as the RCMP Commissioner.”
Despite the concerns raised, Trudeau said then that he still had confidence in Lucki's leadership and ability to follow through on police reform.