Twenty years after disturbing allegations were made against members of the Prince George RCMP by Indigenous girls, there has been a stunning development.
B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth confirmed Thursday that the B.C. government will instigate an out-of-province investigation.
“We as a province are now taking the next step which is to have an outside independent agency do a full investigation,” Farnworth said.
Global News has previously reported that the RCMP said a criminal investigation into the allegations was ongoing.
Many date back to 2004, when B.C. judge David Ramsay pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Indigenous girls in Prince George.
Ramsay was handed a seven-year sentence in the case, and later died in prison. Some of the same girls also accused a number of RCMP officers of crimes. No Mounties were ever charged.
Garry Kerr, a retired RCMP staff sergeant said that, at the time, “the RCMP quite simply did nothing, absolutely nothing.”
“In fact they took many many steps to bury this,” he told Global News.
In 2006, RCMP Const. Lisa MacKenzie, who is now retired, told superiors she had found videotapes, which allegedly showed Indigenous girls being harassed by RCMP officers in Prince George.
Within days they were taken in a break-in, she said.
The whistleblower is welcoming a new investigation.
“I think it’s a positive step going forward and may give some closure to the families and victims and may bring forward other victims forward as well,” she told Global News.
The RCMP’s Civilian Review and Complaints Commission previously determined that no one ensured ”a reasonable investigation was conducted.”
“No one in a position of authority in E-Division reasonably ensured a timely assessment of criminal misconduct or code of conduct breaches,” it further concluded.
Farnworth said Thursday that B.C.’s director of police services has spoken with the RCMP commissioner in Ottawa.
“The RCMP have indicated they will fully cooperate with the outside agency and with the investigation,” he said.
Which agency will do the investigation is yet to be determined.