Never could figure out why the new (p3) E division headquarters in Surrey was costing so darn much, other than that fact P3’s always do gouge the taxpayer. Might it have something to do with an area within the new headquarters that has applied for a liquor license and will operate like a ” private club” for RCMP and guests? Hmmmm.
Will the Gendarmes guzzle in Green Timbers? Bob Mackin brings the news to public light on his outstanding site, 2010 GoldRush, and the story is already being picked up elsewhere.
This Yahoo News blog by Andy Radia has this to say:
“Traditionally in Canada, police headquarters and even fire halls have been given liquor licenses to serve alcohol to their ‘off-duty’ officers.
According to the Northwest Territory liquor distribution branch, the purpose of a licensed mess/canteen is to allow those who work in public protection to enjoy an off-duty drink out of the public eye.
“Because of the nature of their jobs, these individuals are often unfairly expected to be “on-duty” at all times, their website notes.
“It is difficult for them to relax and enjoy a few drinks in a restaurant or bar without public scrutiny or public expectation of their services.”
But is this really appropriate in 2012?
More importantly, is this application really appropriate for a national police force that has been rocked by scandal after scandal over the past decade?
In November, the RCMP took another hit to its beleaguered reputation when two female officers went to the media with complaints about a systemic problem of sexual harassment within RCMP ranks.
More recently, there was the case of Donald Ray, the ex-Alberta Mountie who was disciplined — but not fired — for sexual misconduct and drinking on the job.
Do we really want to introduce more alcohol into the RCMP ‘culture’?
Do we really need officers coiffing a few pints at work after a tough day on the job and then driving home?
During a period of time where the RCMP is trying to restore their reputation, applying for a liquor license is not a smart public relations move.
The Harper government has spent an endless amount of time and money getting ‘tough on crime’ — perhaps it’s about time they got tougher on the Mounties.”
I have to agree.
Besides the fact that I strongly object to what the long term costs of this facility are going to be for cities – I’ve shown time and time again, P3 projects are not in the best interest of the taxpayers, who end up paying far more to give the private investor an overinflated return – I don’t think having a liquor license in RCMP headquarters is ok.
No one knows you are a mountie if you go for a drink in a pub off-duty, and in your street clothes, so no one is watching you and no one is judging – I just don’t buy into the ‘needing a private place to toss one back without being judged’ argument. I do however, think that if an off duty mountie is tossing one back in a pub,drives home, is stopped and blows over, then the people in the pub would or could be called as a witness to how much was served, what kind of behavior was exhibited etc..
However,if an off duty officer tosses a couple back in a private clublike facility in headquarters, drives home in street clothes, is stopped and blows over… will the staff at headquarters testify to how much he drank? Or if he drank at all ? I just don’t like the implications, considering how many repeated examples the public have seen of the RCMP covering up for their own.
I know several RCMP members and by no means paint them all with the same brush. They are great people, take their job seriously, and do their best. But let them drink at the pub, or at home, like the rest of us, and face the same consequences. There is no place for drinking in RCMP headquarters in this day and age.
Now go read Bob’s great story on this.