A prosecutor is asking for the maximum fine against the RCMP for Labour Code convictions stemming from gunman Justin Bourque’s 2014 Moncton, N.B., rampage that left three officers dead and two injured.
Crown prosecutor Paul Adams said a $1 million fine would amount to “a clear declaration of disapproval” of RCMP conduct that left its officers outgunned and ill-prepared.
The force knew of the need for better weaponry seven years before the Moncton shootings, he told Moncton provincial court judge Judge Leslie Jackson Thursday.
“There was a confusing lack of urgency in dealing with this type of risk,” he said.
Bourque had targeted police officers in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.
Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche were killed, while constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were injured in the shootings.
Defence lawyer Mark Ertel suggested a penalty of $500,000, much of it as donations to groups suggested by the Crown.
Jackson convicted the national police force in September of failing to properly equip and train its members.
The judge was given victim impact statements from the wives of two fallen officers on Thursday.
One of them, Angela Gevaudan, said in a recording that as a dispatcher with the Moncton-area Codiac detachment, she was aware of safety concerns for officers prior to the June 2014 shooting.
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“I feel there was not an appropriate process to address those concerns,” she said.
Gevaudan said there needs to be an independent process to monitor and address safety concerns.
She said that knowing there were safety concerns and not being able to have them addressed only increased her mental suffering and she now suffers from PTSD.
Adams told Jackson that if the RCMP officers had the proper training and equipment, it would have been “a game-changer.”
“They (the force) was responsible to prepare the officers to deal with this situation, which they failed to do,” Adams said.
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Adams also asked that the RCMP be ordered to make a public statement on what measures have been taken since the Moncton tragedy.
Ertel said since 2014 the force has made a clear acceptance of responsibility.
He said the introduction of carbine rifles “could” have made a difference, but the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they “would” have made a difference.
Bourque pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years.