Canada’s Top Mountie Discusses Policing Challenges and Recruitment Efforts in B.C.

In his first official trip to British Columbia, Commissioner Mike Duheme of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) discussed the challenges faced by the police force and their recruitment efforts. While attending the funeral of Const. Rick O’Brien, who was tragically killed on duty, Duheme expressed his condolences and condemned the senseless act of violence.

As Surrey undergoes a transition from the RCMP to a municipal police service, Duheme admitted that there is still uncertainty surrounding the timeline for this transition. Despite the lack of clarity, he reassured the community that the RCMP would continue to provide a professional service during the process. However, the vacancy rate is a concern, with the province-wide rate at eight percent, equivalent to a shortage of 580 staff members within the RCMP’s E-Division.

To address the shortage and encourage more recruits, the RCMP has made changes to its recruitment process. In the past, graduates of the six-month training program at the RCMP Depot in Regina had to be willing to accept postings anywhere in the country. Now, graduates have greater flexibility to request postings in their home provinces. The RCMP currently has 1,000 applicants from British Columbia in the pipeline, including individuals with prior law enforcement experience.

Duheme noted a positive trend of experienced police officers joining the RCMP, with a current troop at the Depot comprised of officers from B.C. These officers will be assigned to various locations in British Columbia upon completion of their training. This influx of experienced officers is a departure from the past, when most recruits were new to law enforcement.

During the interview, Duheme also touched on the investigation into the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar at a Surrey gurdwara. The case has garnered international attention, particularly due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement that there is credible intelligence suggesting the possible involvement of agents from the Indian government. The RCMP, in collaboration with multiple units and a national security lens, is working alongside the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to unravel the complexities of the case.


1. What is the RCMP?
The RCMP, or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is the federal and national law enforcement agency of Canada. They provide federal policing services, maintain peace and order, and enforce federal laws.

2. Why is the RCMP transitioning to municipal police services in Surrey?
Surrey is undergoing a transition to a municipal police service as part of their efforts to have local control over policing decisions and tailor law enforcement services to the needs of their community.

3. What is the current vacancy rate within the RCMP?
The vacancy rate within the RCMP’s E-Division is eight percent, which amounts to a shortage of approximately 580 staff members.

4. How is the RCMP addressing the shortage of staff?
The RCMP has made changes to their recruitment process to attract more recruits. Graduates from the RCMP Depot can now request to be assigned to their home provinces, making the job more attractive for individuals who wish to serve in their local communities.

5. What was the remarkable development in relation to the investigation into the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada has credible intelligence suggesting the possible involvement of agents from the Indian government in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar at a Surrey gurdwara. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, with assistance from various units and a focus on national security.