For immediate release
November 24, 2022
VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus applaud the B.C. Federation of Labour’s unanimous call on the B.C. NDP government to disband the RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), a branch that was created specifically to defend resource extraction projects.
“The B.C. Green Caucus fully supports this call from the B.C. Federation of Labour who represent over 500,000 British Columbians,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “We commend them for using their collective voice to stand up for Indigenous sovereignty and rights.”
“The C-IRG are a militarized division of our national police force that are paid to defend pipelines and cut blocks from Indigenous People,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and member of Tsartlip First Nation. “This is a continuation of the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands, waters, and resources, under the watch of a so-called progressive government.
“Essentially, our national police force is being contracted out to industry groups. I have witnessed the close relationship between the C-IRG and private industry firsthand, when RCMP officers and industry staff were working together to surveil the movement of Indigenous people on their own traditional territory.
“Since its creation in 2017, the C-IRG has drawn criticism for their aggressive tactics. A former C-IRG officer has even resigned over ‘unjustifiable’ police behaviour during the enforcement of the Fairy Creek blockade.
“Yesterday, Premier David Eby announced an additional $230 million in funding for the B.C. RCMP. Today, the Federation of Labour calls for a division of the RCMP to be disbanded.
“Premier Eby must answer to the public. Is he increasing the budget of this problematic police division in direct conflict with the B.C. Federation of Labour?”
B.C. Green Caucus
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