May 22, 2019 8:58 pm

Grassroots Vernon group gains political support in bid for RCMP Appreciation Day

A Vernon group is hoping to create a national RCMP appreciation day.

Megan Turcato / Global News

A Vernon group aiming to have February 1 designated as RCMP Appreciation Day across Canada has amassed considerable political support for the idea.

The citizens’ group says it has gathered dozens of letter of support for the idea from municipal governments, MPs and MLAs.

READ MORE: RCMP Day celebrated in Winnipeg

It is hoping the national appreciation day can be organized to coincide with the force’s 100th anniversary in 2020.

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“They are a legacy that is part of Canada and they are the only national police force,” said organizer Martin Von Holst.

“They are recognized and honoured around the world so we just wanted to give back to them.”

The group was originally hoping to have a provincial RCMP appreciation day recognized, but now has its sights set on a national day.

Von Holst said local politicians are championing the cause in Victoria and Ottawa. However, even if the day is not officially recognized, the group plans to ask its supporters to celebrate in their communities on February 1, 2020.

READ MORE: $220M and counting: The cost of the RCMP’s ‘culture of dysfunction’

Von Holst said in Vernon the local museum is planning exhibits and, one day, he would like to see RCMP members invited to a curling or hockey tournament in the city.

At times, the RCMP has been the subject of controversy however Von Holst believes that shouldn’t prevent an appreciation day from being created.

“We all know there has been times that there is controversy. It is usually involving individual peoples not the entire organization. We believe the RCMP stands for strong moral values and ethical standards,” Von Holst said.

“We are not looking at any individual, we are looking at the whole organization and trying to help foster a more positive outlook.”

WATCH: (Feb. 2019) One man dead, another injured in Okanagan break and enter

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