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Trudeau expresses confidence in RCMP commissioner amid racism debate

Last Updated Jun 11, 2020 at 11:00 am MDT

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expressing confidence in RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki after the top Mountie said she is struggling with the definition of systemic racism.

Lucki made the comments during several media interviews on Wednesday in response to allegations of bias and discrimination within the federal police force and others across the country.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May became the latest to level such allegations against the RCMP, calling it a “racist institution” during a news conference on Parliament Hill this morning.

May compared the way she was arrested during a pipeline protest in B.C. in May 2018 to the treatment of Indigenous protesters earlier this year as evidence of bias.

Trudeau says he has worked closely with Lucki over the years and that he trusts the commissioner to lead reforms at the RCMP.

Trudeau says systemic racism exists in institutions across the country, including the RCMP and other police forces, and that they must do better to ensure fairness for all Canadians.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press