Beck Writes to New RCMP Minister on Day 1: Don’t Close Depot

Yesterday, Leader of the Official Opposition Carla Beck wrote to the new federal Minister of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc, to reaffirm her opposition to the closure of RCMP Depot Division in Regina. She reiterated the need to keep the 500+ jobs here in Saskatchewan and emphasized the opportunity to partner with the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada in re-imagining training and education standards for new recruits.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Minister LeBlanc:

I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs. 

As you are likely aware, the Mass Casualty Commission’s report on the 2020 Nova Scotia shooting has recommended the closure of the RCMP’s Depot Division in Regina. As the new minister responsible for the RCMP, I want to ensure that you understand that Saskatchewan people will not accept the implementation of this recommendation as proposed. 

On April 3, 2023 I put forward an emergency motion in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly opposing any plans for changes to RCMP training that include the closure of Depot Division. That motion passed unanimously. 

The RCMP faces a long road ahead when it comes to rebuilding trust with Canadians — particularly Indigenous peoples and Canadians from visible minority communities. Changes to recruit training are needed to ensure the next generation of RCMP officers have the skills and knowledge to ably serve all Canadians. The status quo for recruit training cannot go on, but closing Depot Division is not in the best interests of Saskatchewan or the RCMP. 

Regina is home to the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada, and the opportunity to partner with these institutions in re-imagining training and education standards for recruits should be thoroughly explored by your ministry.

One of the most concerning aspects about the proposed closure of Depot Division is the impact this would have on the economy in our capital city. More than 500 jobs at Depot Division hang in the balance, and the economic impact on local suppliers and tourism would be significant.  

As you go forward with plans to modernize RCMP training and respond to the recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission’s report, I urge you to ensure that RCMP training will continue here in Regina and that Depot Division will remain open with no job losses. 

I thank you for your consideration of this important matter for Saskatchewan people. 

Sincerely,

Carla Beck 

Leader of the Official Opposition

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