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Volume 28, Number 37, Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Fort honours RCMP milestone

I find it fitting that Fort Saskatchewan took time this week to honour the mounted police. Our community is tightly bound to this famous symbol of Canada, and can rightly celebrate the 150th birthday of the force.

Fort Saskatchewan was founded by the mounted police. Our community literally would not be here if Inspector William Jarvis had not decided to do so.

Much as we love the mounted police, we also know they have been part of some of the most horrible crimes in our history, especially those against our Indigenous nations. As current detachment commander Barry LaRocque noted at Saturday's ceremony, the RCMP have made mistakes, especially in its treatment of other cultures. "The RCMP history cannot be changed, but we must learn from it and endeavour to not make the same mistakes again."

That statement is the essence of what makes the RCMP great. It is an aspiration, a goal that may never be reached, but must be strived for.

That is also what makes a nation great. Because Canada, like the RCMP has never really been all that we hope it to be.

The history of RCMP, like that of Canada, is filled with great people and great acts as well as crimes and mistakes. We can be proud of those police members that found food for starving Indigenous nations even if it was not always enough. We also can be proud of those that kept the peace even if it was not always peaceful.

I honour those men and women, and the women and men serving today that aspire to these same ideals. They are what make the red serge uniform a symbol of what makes us all proud to be Canadian.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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Mounted police worth celebrating

Fort Saskatchewan thanked the RCMP for 150 years of service to Canada at an informal ceremony in the old fort Saturday, Sept. 16.

"I salute you and I wear your colour with pride," Fort Mayor Gale Katchur told police members. She added that Fort Saskatchewan does not agree with any discussions about replacing the RCMP in Alberta and will be sure to keep them as our own police force here.

The mounted police were created by an act of Parliament on May 23, 1873, and the North West Mounted Police formed in November of that year.

The force rode west in 1874 to establish forts across Western Canada, with one group turning south to Fort Macleod and another coming north to Fort Edmonton.  That group established Fort Saskatchewan in the spring of 1875.

Saturday's event included a free barbecue, tours of the old fort and demonstrations of police vehicles.

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023