The RCMP has reversed its coverage on mask-wearing after being accused of discrimination over the rule, which noticed bearded Mounties — together with Sikh and Muslim officers — reassigned to desk obligation.
The coverage, which was condemned by each activists and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, required entrance line officers to put on correctly fitted N95 respirator masks — one thing that is not at all times attainable for RCMP members who put on beards for spiritual causes.
In a press release Thursday, the chief human sources officer for the RCMP mentioned that, following a danger evaluation by commanding officers, “impacted bearded members across Canada may [now] return to operational duties” with acceptable private protecting gear (PPE).
“Calls for service will be triaged from call centres, with bearded members being assigned to respond operationally only if the risk of exposure is low or multiple responding officers will be present,” mentioned the assertion from chief human sources officer Gail Johnson. “Each case will be assessed on an individual basis.”
The authentic coverage was described as discriminatory and disappointing by Prime Minister Trudeau, who added it “shouldn’t have happened.”
Johnson mentioned she was additionally dissatisfied within the coverage.
“I share the frustrations of our police officers across Canada who are personally affected. While these dedicated and valued members have been accommodated for medical or religious reasons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the last few months they have not been able to serve Canadians on the front lines as we worked to find equipment and operational solutions,” she wrote Friday.
The coverage was applied in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki issued a directive on masks use for entrance line officers, saying the respirators needed to be sealed appropriately and that “one of the most common causes of a breached seal is facial hair.”
World Sikh Organization authorized counsel Balpreet Singh mentioned the transfer resulted in some Sikh officers being faraway from their entrance line duties.
Singh mentioned his group wrote to Lucki and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to ask for a decision to the difficulty. Blair’s workplace condemned the coverage and mentioned it anticipated the difficulty to be rectified “as quickly as possible.”
“All officers must be given equal opportunity to serve their community while practising their faith,” mentioned an e mail from the minister’s spokesperson final month.
“They must not experience discrimination based on religion.”
Under questioning within the House of Commons this week, Trudeau mentioned the coverage was an instance of systemic racism within the RCMP.
“This is absolutely unacceptable. We asked the RCMP to review its policies to make sure that this example of systemic racism is put aside,” he mentioned.
“We need to correct the faults within our system. We need to make sure that these extraordinary law enforcement officers who step up to serve their communities do so with full respect of their human rights. We will see action taken.”