RCMP facing four charges related to Moncton shooting rampage
WATCH: The RCMP face four counts under the Canada Labour Code related to the tragic shooting deaths of three officers in Moncton last June. Vassy Kapelos reports.
Nearly one year after three RCMP officers were shot to death in Moncton, the RCMP is now facing four charges under the Canada Labour Code.
Global News has learned the four charges, under Section 148(1) of the Labour Code, are related to the equipment, training and supervision of the police officers.
The charges stem from the June 4, 2014 shooting spree, in which lone gunman Justin Bourque murdered Constables Doug Larche, Fabrice Gevaudan and Dave Ross. Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were also injured in Bourque’s rampage.
WATCH ABOVE: RCMP charged with labour violations in the deaths of Moncton officers. Global’s Vassy Kapelos reports.
Bourque pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder last August. In October, he was sentenced to serve 75 years in prison before being eligible to apply for parole.
The charges Thursday also follow a Global News investigation into the preparedness of RCMP officers to handle active shooter situations.
If convicted, the RCMP faces up to $1 million in fines (for each charge), and up to two years in prison. Global News is not aware of any individuals named in the charges.
WATCH: A story we first brought you on Global News is making headlines again Friday. The RCMP is facing four charges under the federal labour code for its role in the Moncton shooting rampage almost a year ago. Carolyn Jarvis explains.
“The safety of our employees in doing this dangerous job, protecting the public, is always our priority,” RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said in an internal statement obtained by Global News. “As our honour roll sadly confirms, there has always been — and sadly will continue to be – deadly threats to police officers.”
Paulson went on to say the families of the three fallen officers had been notified of the charges and said the RCMP will examine “the substance of these charges carefully before making any decisions.”
The RCMP declined to provide any further comment.
WATCH: Under Fire, an explosive investigation by 16×9 into the Moncton RCMP shootings
A spokesperson for Federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch also declined to comment on the charges.
“Any charges laid by the Labour Program against any employer for contravention under the Canada Labour Code would be subject to immediate court action. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment or speculate on any case,” Andrew McGrathsaid in an email statement.
He added Leitch is unavailable for an interview as she is out of the country.
Watch: Brion Robinson with the reaction in Moncton to the charges.
Last week, MPs grilled RCMP Commissioner Paulson about the RCMP’s equipment and training for an event like the Moncton shooting.
Questions were also raised about 16×9’s report into the years-long delay in rolling out the carbine program – a semi-automatic weapon, as well as concerns over training.
Frontline RCMP officers had been calling for carbines for years before the shooting, and other police forces, like the Ontario Provincial Police, had deployed the weapons to all frontline officers by 2006.
WATCH: NDP’s deputy public safety critic Rosane Doré Lefebvre said that it was shocking that the RCMP were not equipped enough to deal with the Montcon shooting rampage that claimed the lives of four RCMP officers.
Despite the apparent need for the carbine program, the RCMP didn’t begin to roll it out until 2011, but even then, the rollout of the program was supposed to take a maximum of 18 months – the first of the carbines didn’t arrive until mid-2013.
When Bourque began his killing spree, the Codiac detachment in Moncton only had six carbines, all of which were an hour and a half away, being used in the first-ever carbine-user course in New Brunswick.
As of March, 2,200 carbines had been delivered to RCMP detachments across the country, to equip up to 12,000 regular members.
Officer preparedness was another issue exposed by the 16×9 investigation, as a significant number of RCMP officers – in Moncton, and across the country – had not received training on how to deal with an active shooter. On June 4, 2014, only 59 per cent of the RCMP officers in Moncton had completed the training.
When asked about the investigation during a Public Safety Committee meeting, Paulson accused 16×9 of using actors to draw a link between lack of equipment and the Moncton shooting, a link he didn’t think was fair. He later retracted his accusation and admitted he hadn’t watched the story.
WATCH: RCMP Commissioner grilled by MPs after 16×9 investigation into Moncton RCMP shooting.
During the committee meeting, Liberal MP Wayne Easter said he’s received emails from a number of RCMP members and the people who work with them since the investigation aired, and read one of the emails from a dispatcher aloud.
“Members and staff have no voices – our jobs are put on the line by speaking up and whistle-blowing and they’re thanking Global for producing the program,” Easter said.
There is still one outstanding report into the Moncton shootings pending the RCMP’s internal HOIT – or Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Team report. There is no timeline on when that report will be complete.
Below is a copy of the internal memo from RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson: