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Study: Canadians agree RCMP suffers from systemic racism but split on if police force can fix itself

RCMP officers dressed in red serge lead the Canada Day parade in Dawson City, Yukon, Sunday, July 1, 2018. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police noticed that when it came to rank-and-file members showing an interest in being promoted to officers, fewer women than men were putting their hands up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

75 per cent polled say RCMP has systemic racism issue

Of the 75 per cent, 40 per cent say RCMP can fix it, 35 per cent are doubtful the force can make change on its own

Men and people living in prairies were less likely to say there was a bias

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A new survey is reporting a majority of Canadians believe there’s a systemic racism problem within the RCMP.

According to a study by Nanos Research — which was commissioned by the Globe and Mail — the country is divided on whether or not the police force can fix itself or if it needs outside help.

“Four in ten Canadians say the RCMP has a problem with systemic racism and they have confidence they can fix it (40%), while 35 per cent say the RCMP has a problem with systemic racism and they do not have confidence they can fix it. Fourteen per cent say the RCMP does not have a problem with systemic racism and 12 per cent are unsure,” the study reads.

About 19 per cent of men in Canada are likely to say the RCMP does not have a problem with systemic racism, compared to eight per cent of women.

Residents of the Prairies are also more likely to not belive this issue compared to residents of Atlantic Canada, Ontario or Quebec.

As calls are made to “defund the police,” the study adds, Canadians are divided over the subject.

“One in two Canadians oppose (30%) or somewhat oppose (20%) reducing the police budget in their municipality and investing the money in other city services, while just under one in two support (21%) or somewhat support this (25%). Four per cent are unsure,” the study reads.

“Residents of British Columbia (28% support) and Ontario (26% support) are more likely to support this than residents of Quebec (12%).”

A few weeks ago, Canada’s top cop, Brenda Lucki, acknowledged the existence of systemic racism within the RCMP.

As an example, she talked about an obstacle course at police training that favours tall people saying some women and people from different cultures might not be tall enough to complete it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also acknowledged systemic racism within Canada and its institutions.

“We are recognizing what many Indigenous Canadians and racialized Canadians have known for a long time, that there is systemic discrimination right across our country in every part of our country, and in our institutions.”