Vernon, B.C.’s RCMP Appreciation Day is going national.
The group which hopes to make Feb. 1 RCMP Appreciation Day across B.C. is extending its campaign Canada-wide, as announced by committee co-chairperson Martin von Holst Wednesday at Vernon’s Schubert Centre.
“It is with great pride that we would like to announce that the RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C. committee is becoming the RCMP Day in Canada committee,” said von Holst.
“We’ve already received some support in Alberta, and we plan to reach out to each of the provinces. There already is an RCMP Appreciation Day in Manitoba, started in 2016.
“We believe, after 100 years, it’s time to say thank you.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s 100th anniversary is Feb. 1, 2020.
“Our national police force needs to be recognized for the contributions they’ve made toward public safety,” said North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold. “That’s not to take anything away from provincial or city police forces for the work they do. As the original national police force, I think the RCMP stand out representing safety and security right across the country. I’m looking ahead to moving this forward and getting further support.”
The original campaign was to make Feb. 1 RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C., a way of thanks to the men and women of the force who keep the province’s communities safe. The campaign received many letters of support from seven MPs, 37 communities and 18 MLAs, including Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA Eric Foster.
“I’m most happy to put my support behind this initiative,” said Foster, who presented a 1,000-plus name petition on the subject in the Legislature. “I commend the City of Vernon for taking the initiative to be first.”
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said one of the critical things in the North Okanagan is having a safe, comfortable, predictable community.
“And a huge piece of that is the role our policing plays and here, we have the luxury of the RCMP,” said Cumming. “We have the luxury of extremely well-trained RCMP and we enjoy that luxury every single day.
The committee is using social media to help spread the campaign provincially and nationally.