The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is renowned for its iconic red serge uniforms and its role as Canada’s federal police force. However, beneath the iconic image lies a complex narrative of power and systemic abuses that have disproportionately affected Black individuals across the country. This journalistic investigation delves into the allegations of RCMP abuse of power towards Black individuals, drawing from both historical precedent and contemporary accounts.
To understand the allegations of RCMP abuse of power towards Black individuals, it is essential to examine Canada’s history of racial discrimination. Historically, Black Canadians have faced a litany of discriminatory practices, from slavery to segregation. Despite the eventual abolition of slavery and advancements in civil rights, the legacy of discrimination continues to affect Black communities to this day.
One particularly egregious example is the history of the Black Nova Scotian community of Africville. This vibrant settlement, established in the early 19th century, was subjected to neglect, underfunding, and eventual forced relocation. The destruction of Africville, carried out by the municipal government and supported by the RCMP, left a deep scar on the community and exemplified the abuse of power against Black Canadians.
While the overt practices of segregation and forced relocations have largely been consigned to history, allegations of abuse by the RCMP against Black individuals persist in contemporary Canada. These allegations encompass a wide range of issues, including racial profiling, excessive use of force, and discrimination within the criminal justice system.
Racial profiling is a particularly salient concern. Studies and reports have indicated that Black Canadians are more likely to be subjected to arbitrary street checks and police stops. These practices, often lacking reasonable grounds, create an environment of constant scrutiny for Black individuals.
Nina Lewis, a community organizer, states, “Every time I leave my house, I am aware that I might be stopped by the police simply because of the color of my skin. It’s a feeling of powerlessness that we shouldn’t have to live with.”
High-profile cases of alleged abuse of power by the RCMP have captured national attention and galvanized calls for justice. The death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto in 2020 during a police-involved incident sparked outrage and protests. Similar incidents, such as the shooting of Chantel Moore in New Brunswick and the death of Rodney Levi in the same province, have further intensified demands for accountability and reform.
As Gina Williams, an advocate for police reform, emphasizes, “These cases are not isolated incidents. They represent a pattern of violence and abuse that Black individuals in Canada have faced for generations.”
The allegations of abuse extend beyond individual encounters with the RCMP and into the broader criminal justice system. Black individuals often face disparities in arrest rates, sentencing, and incarceration. A report by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association revealed that Black Canadians are overrepresented in federal prisons, comprising 8.6% of the federal prison population while making up only 3.5% of the Canadian population.
James Thompson, a criminal defense attorney, notes, “The disparities within the criminal justice system are stark. Black individuals are more likely to be arrested, face harsher sentences, and have limited access to rehabilitation programs.”
The allegations of abuse of power by the RCMP towards Black individuals have catalyzed calls for accountability and reform. Community organizations, activists, and allies are demanding concrete action to address systemic issues and ensure justice is served.
One critical aspect of reform is enhanced transparency and accountability mechanisms within law enforcement agencies. Independent oversight bodies that investigate allegations of police misconduct are seen as essential to building trust and ensuring that officers are held accountable for their actions.
Jamal Carter, a member of a community-led police reform task force, explains, “Accountability is at the heart of reform. We need independent bodies to investigate allegations of abuse and ensure that justice is served.”
The path forward involves empowering communities and individuals to advocate for their rights and demand change. Education and awareness about legal rights and responsibilities are crucial components of this effort. Additionally, partnerships between law enforcement agencies and community organizations that foster dialogue and understanding can contribute to improved relations between the police and Black communities.
As Karen Brown, an advocate for racial justice, emphasizes, “The road to reform is long, but it’s not insurmountable. It requires collective action, a commitment to justice, and a recognition that we all have a role to play in creating a more equitable society.”
The allegations of RCMP abuse of power towards Black individuals reveal a troubling pattern that echoes the historical legacy of discrimination in Canada. While progress has been made, the persistence of racial profiling, disparities in the criminal justice system, and high-profile cases of abuse underscore the urgent need for reform.
The path forward involves addressing systemic issues, enhancing accountability mechanisms, and fostering dialogue between law enforcement and Black communities. By recognizing the voices of those affected and advocating for change, Canada can strive towards a future where the RCMP serves as an institution that upholds justice and equality for all, regardless of their race or background.
'ET Canada' cancelled by Corus Entertainment, blames 'challenging' advertising market – CTV News
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Entertainment Tonight Canada to end after 18 seasons
Canadian media company Corus Entertainment has announced it is ending flagship entertainment program Entertainment Tonight (ET) Canada after 18 seasons.
“The costs of producing a daily entertainment newsmagazine show in a challenging advertising environment have led to this decision,” read a statement posted on the company’s website on Wednesday.
“We recognize the impact this decision has on the dedicated team who have worked on the show and we thank them for their meaningful contributions over the years.”
The show’s final episode will air on Oct. 6, with reruns airing in the same time slot on Global TV until Oct. 31, a Corus spokesperson told CBC News.
The cancellation won’t impact Corus’s obligation to produce Canadian content under the rules set out by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the spokesperson said.
ET Canada’s website and social media platforms will also be shut down. The spokesperson declined to comment on how many people had been laid off as a result, but said the program’s hosts were impacted.
The network said it has no plans for another entertainment news show.
An hour-long, magazine-style show that focused on entertainment, celebrity, film and TV news, ET Canada began airing in 2005 on Global TV, which is owned by Corus Entertainment.
The program has been hosted by Canadian media personality Cheryl Hickey since its launch, with regular appearances by entertainment reporters, including Sangita Patel — a co-host since 2022 — plus Carlos Bustamante, Keshia Chanté and Morgan Hoffman.
The cancellation leaves ETalk, CTV’s weeknight show, as Canada’s lone major entertainment news program.
Andrea Grau, founder and CEO of entertainment publicity firm Touchwood PR, said ET Canada offered a Canadian perspective that made it stand out in the U.S.-dominated entertainment landscape.
“There was this great Entertainment Tonight brand that was going on in the U.S. — we all watched. And the idea of a Canadian arm of it was very special because it could give a different slant,” she said.
ET Canada’s demise comes during a major shift in the industry, she said, as publicists struggle to find entertainment outlets that can shine a spotlight on emerging Canadian artists and projects.
“Even though we share a language with the U.S. and we share pop culture, we are still Canadian and we have a different perspective,” Grau said, noting that ET Canada’s hosts were a mainstay on the U.S. press circuit.
“You see those relationships that have been built over the years of having Sangita [Patel] standing on a red carpet interviewing someone, or Cheryl Hickey interviewing someone. They’re recognizable to [celebrities] after all of these years, too,” she said. “They’ve created such a strong brand.”
Canada just had its lowest number of births in 17 years. What’s behind it?
The number of babies born in Canada dropped to a 17-year-low last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a declining fertility rate, data shows.
A Statistics Canada report released Tuesday showed there were 351,679 births registered across the country in 2022, which was a five per cent decrease from the previous year. This was Canada’s sharpest drop recorded since 2005.
Before 2022, the lowest number of births recorded was in 2005, with 345,044 babies born nationwide.
While the number of births in all provinces and territories declined last year, Nova Scotia was the notable outlier with a 12.8 per cent increase in live births.
The biggest decrease was in Nunavut, with the number of births dropping 11.8 per cent compared with 2021.
Canada, like many other developed countries, has been seeing declining birth trends over the past several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people’s plans to have kids, said Kate Choi, an associate professor of sociology at Western University.
“Although the fertility decline was indeed part of a larger trend of fertility decreases that have been occurring in Canada, the magnitude of the decrease is larger than what we would have anticipated in the absence of COVID-19,” she told Global News in an interview.
The high cost of living has magnified the size of the drop in births, Choi said.
“It’s very expensive to have children and right now, when everything is expensive, it’s very hard for young adults to be able to have the type of lifestyle that allows them to have children, which is contributing to delayed and forgone fertility,” she added.
It’s a concerning trend for Canada, according to Choi, who said decreasing birth rates have the potential to exacerbate population aging issues.
Canada is considered a low-fertility country and its fertility rate has been declining over the past decade.
The latest Statistics Canada data from 2021 reported a fertility rate of 1.44 children per woman that year — marking a slight increase following a steady decline since 2009.
The fertility rate is an estimate of the average number of live births a female can be expected to have in her lifetime, according to StatCan.
Lifestyle changes and work decisions are contributing factors, with a shift toward smaller families, said Mark Rosenberg, an expert in geography and professor emeritus at Queen’s University.
“I think mainly the factors we should focus on are first and foremost women’s decisions around the labour force and delaying birth until they’re in their 30s,” he told Global News in an interview.
There is also an increasing number of younger people living in single-person households, Rosenberg added.
Despite the drop in births, Canada’s population has been growing at a “record-setting pace,” surpassing the milestone of 40 million people earlier this year, due to a focus on increasing immigration.
Meanwhile, the StatCan report Tuesday also showed a rise in the proportion of babies who were born with a low birth weight — less than 2,500 grams.
Seven per cent of all babies had a low birth weight in 2022 compared with 6.6 per cent the year before.
Babies with a low birth weight are at an increased risk of complications, such as inhibited growth and development and even death, according to StatCan.
“When we see higher rates of low birth weight babies or higher rates of babies that are born who are overweight, those are issues that we should be concerned about because they reflect on people’s health,” Rosenberg said.
— with files from Global News’ Katherine Ward
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