B.C. is getting its first face-to-face with the new commander of the province’s RCMP division.
Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr is taking over as commanding officer from outgoing Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens.
Today, she took questions from the media for the first time, shedding light on how she’ll manage the country’s largest RCMP division.
With the slow-burning issue of sexual harassment still under investigation in the force, Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr says she’ll set a clear tone.
“We are a force of inclusion, equality, and that we strive for that. And anything less is unacceptable. And for any individual that’s conducting themselves in an inappropriate manner, my intent will be to hold those individuals accountable.”
She also touched on one of the more difficult issues facing the force, missing and murdered indigenous women.
“We are working very closely with our communities, and we have a tremendous amount of initiatives in place,” says Butterworth-Carr, touching on BC’s Oppal inquiry and the 41 recommendations the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission made to the RCMP.
She says while investigating the issue will remain an important priority, her focus when it comes to MMIW will be on stopping it before it happens.
“Where we really need to take this and continue to take it and focus is on prevention and education, and reduction of any of our women and girls, whether it’s violence in relationships or high-risk lifestyles.”
And of course, in classic B.C. fashion, the new top brass found herself facing questions about Green on her first day out.
Butterworth-Carr says the force is working closely with the feds when it comes to the rollout of legalized marijuana, particularly around impaired driving.
“We are certainly increasing any of the training that we require to be able to support that, and we’ll wait to see what that legislation looks like and respond accordingly to it.”
However, she didn’t touch on how strictly her officers would enforce current pot laws with legalization in the wings.
Butterworth-Carr, a 30-year veteran of the force, has previously commanded in Saskatchewan, and served in BC and her native Yukon.
A member of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Han First Nation, she is the first indigenous woman to command BC’s E-Division.