B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth made an unexpected announcement on Friday, stating that an external agency, yet to be named and not from B.C., will be responsible for investigating historical accusations of violent sexual abuse involving Prince George Mounties.
No specific information was provided regarding the details of the probe, and it remains unclear how the investigation will proceed while the RCMP conducts its own criminal investigation into the implicated officers.
A recently disclosed 2021 report from the RCMP’s Civilian Review and Complaints Commission revealed that B.C. RCMP officials had disregarded allegations made two decades ago regarding the sexual and violent abuse of First Nations girls by Prince George officers over a ten-year period.
Farnworth stated that the RCMP has confirmed its full cooperation with the investigation, including the provision of all relevant records to the external agency, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Despite the minister sounding as if he had just become aware of the allegations, it was revealed that a copy of the report had been sent to him two years ago, on April 13, 2021. The report concluded that no one in a position of authority in E-Division had adequately assessed the allegations of criminal misconduct or breaches of the code of conduct.
When asked about the findings in November, a ministry spokesperson responded on December 2 that while the province was aware of the report, the responsibility for the CRCC (Civilian Review and Complaints Commission) ultimately fell under the federal government.
Although RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki accepted the 2018 findings, she delayed taking action on them for nearly three years.