Friday May 24, 2013
An Undercover Report... Prince Charles, Camilla and The Musical RideBill Annett Salem-News.com
For the benefit of our American, British, Australian and European readers, The RCMP Musical Ride is an internationally acclaimed mounted troop precision drill...
(OTTAWA) - Editor's note: It was announced in Ottawa yesterday that as part of their current tumultuous royal tour, Prince Charles and Camilla will visit Regina, home of the RCMP boot camp and site of the Mounties' world-famous Musical Ride. It's expected that a performance of that immensely popular mounted drill will be presented before the popular royal couple.
For the benefit of our American, British, Australian and European readers, The RCMP Musical Ride is an internationally acclaimed mounted troop precision drill, complete with full dress uniforms, immaculately groomed horses, couched lances and magnificent musical accompaniment, performed at all manner of formal or public special occasions, for some reason that nobody has ever explained.
The Shield has long been privy to news inside the Force because of an exclusive contact imbedded deep within the greatest elite unit since the U.S. Navy Seals: The Musical Ride. That source revealed that it's expected that a special ceremony will take place during the royal visit, with the RCMP Commissioner presenting His Royal Highness Prince Charles with the Mounties' most prestigious award. But more of that later. Here is the anonymous report of our secret contact (mole, if you will):
I won't say my life has been in danger for the past three years since I was specially assigned, by the investigative arm of John Duncan's Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, to inquire into the inner workings of the RCMP from the best of all vantage points – on the ground, slightly to the rear of the horses and armed with a seemingly harmless stage prop (a scoop shovel). But I was aware, of course, right from the outset that if my secret mission ever came to light, I might be singled out for KP, for swamping out the barracks, or perhaps even dishonorable discharge, stripped of my rank, all privileges, my insignia and my shovel.
But I can now state emphatically that my work has totally disproven all that stuff you've read about, such as Indians being taken for one-way rides in 30-below weather, women disappearing from Vancouver's downtown east side and Winnipeg's north end, that tired old rumor about the Force's involvement as a sort of truant officer in the residential school thing for 150 years and the story about police partnership in schemes to traffic kids for horny old rich white guys. (That last item was mistakenly run in the Vancouver Sun by an overzealous investigative reporter who was rewarded with a promotion to full-time stringer based on Texada Island. All of those falsehoods, of course, were the work of terrorists, or perhaps the NDP.)
To begin with, I had to prepare myself by studying the history of the Men In Red. It all started when our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald was accused by the opposition of neglecting the critical situation in the West because he had been on a week-long drinking binge.
According to Hansard, Sir John rose unsteadily in Parliament and declared that his distinguished opponent had been misinformed on two points – first, that he had only been under the weather for a single weekend, and secondly, that the Queen had seen fit to appoint a mounted police force following the P.M.'s recommendation, in order to put down the hostile savages (Americans, actually) who were illegally migrating to Fort Calgary, not to mention the Indians and metis camped menacingly near the CPR railhead in Manitoba, opposing the “Iron Horse.”
As far as the RCMP (then the RNWMP) was concerned, the “Royal” designation was later tacked on by a grateful Edward VII, sometimes falsely alleged to have been Jack The Ripper. (One unsubstantiated anecdote has it that Edward's only reference to the “Royal” designation was that he had merely said: “These colonial cops are a royal pain in the ass.”)
My further research taught me about the unblemished history of the RCMP:
In July 1874, 275 mounted officers marched all the way from Toronto to southern Alberta, where American whiskey traders were operating among the Aboriginal people. Sir John declared that it was wasteful for that good American product (sometimes known as Tennessee tea") to be dissipated on “our native people.”
A year later, 275 horses were to follow them. A permanent post was established at Fort Macleod, Alberta. Part of the remaining Force was sent to put down a dispute over a poker game in Fort Edmonton and the rest returned east to Fort Pelly, Saskatchewan, which gradually gave way to Regina as the site of the Mountie boot camp and the Musical Ride.
In 1896 its future was threatened by the newly elected Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who decided to disband the NWMP, in typical contrary French Canadian fashion. However, the future of the Force was secured by the necessity of policing the Klondike Gold Rush.
Women were first accepted as uniformed members in 1974, and as a result, there followed an expansion into areas such as airport policing, VIP security and drugs because women insist on poking into these areas. Today, the RCMP’s scope of operations includes organized crime, terrorism, illicit drugs and economic crime. (That doesn't sound right – actually it should read that their operations are AGAINST all that stuff. )
As far as the Mounties' report to the TRC was concerned, it was from start to finish, as we say in Canada, honest injun. RCMP officers weren't aware of any abuse because aboriginal families don't talk much, least of all to the cops, for some reason. The 457-page report written by Marcel Eugene-LeBeuf said the police acted on behalf of the federal government to track down a few of the nasty kids who had run away from the schools for some reason. They said parents had the option in the first place of sending kids to the schools or not. None of them refused. Simple as that. So, not a single parent went to jail, which was the second option.
“Children would rarely denounce the abuse they suffered, and the school system prevented outsiders from knowing about any abuse,” the report stated. So if the schools didn't want to tell the police, end of story. The RCMP motto “Maintien le droit,” is generally taken to mean “mind your own business.” Because the churches know what they're doing.
The RCMP researchers conducted 279 interviews and traveled to 66 communities between 2007 and 2009 to examine the police role in supporting the system. Everything looked pretty quiet. No kids around. No problem.
The report concluded that a lack of trust of the police by natives was the biggest barrier to investigations being carried out up until the 1990s. After the 1990, no problem. Maybe because there were no kids and no schools, by that time.
“The report is supported by the relatively small number of files in RCMP records on these matters for the period covered by the research project,” said the report. No kidding. I thought that was pretty conclusive. No files, no records, where's the problem?
It lists 619 victims who appeared before the courts and over 40 perpetrators identified with charges being laid for crimes ranging from indecent assault to sexual interference and assault causing bodily harm. Gee, I found that pretty great. I mean 50,000 dead kids and only 40 perps. None of them went to the slammer because of the statute of limitations.
So you can see how much exaggeration has been going on.
That's about it. I'd give you my name, but I'm not supposed to reveal it, even to Wiki-Canada. You can't believed those hackers, anyway.
Oh, yes, about the Prince Charles story. The word is that the Commissioner is going to present His Royal Highness with a golden scoop shovel, and designate him as Honorary Shovel Man of The Musical Ride, the highest award made by the RCMP to any civilian. It has nothing to do with my job here. I'm the real McCoy.
By the way, don't expect any more reports from me. As soon as I'm through here, Mr. Duncan has promised me a desk job in the Ministry. I guess he appreciates my reports. The last thing he sad to me was “You're the best shovel man I've ever seen. And in Ottawa, I've seen them all.”
Bill Annett grew up a writing brat; his father, Ross Annett, at a time when Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse were regular contributors, wrote the longest series of short stories in the Saturday Evening Post's history, with the sole exception of the unsinkable Tugboat Annie.
At 18, Bill's first short story was included in the anthology “Canadian Short Stories.” Alarmed, his father enrolled Bill in law school in Manitoba to ensure his going straight. For a time, it worked, although Bill did an arabesque into an English major, followed, logically, by corporation finance, investment banking and business administration at NYU and the Wharton School. He added G.I. education in the Army's CID at Fort Dix, New Jersey during the Korean altercation.
He also contributed to The American Banker and Venture in New York, INC. in Boston, the International Mining Journal in London, Hong Kong Business, Financial Times and Financial Post in Toronto.
Bill has written six books, including a page-turner on mutual funds, a send-up on the securities industry, three corporate histories and a novel, the latter no doubt inspired by his current occupation in Daytona Beach as a law-abiding beach comber.
You can write to Bill Annett at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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