A group of Vernon residents gather at city hall before making a presentation to Vernon Council to begin a petition campaign that would acknowledge the service of the RCMP with a special day in B.C. every Feb. 1. (Photo submitted)

Vernon group hopes to form RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C.

Committee struck to begin petition campaign

They put their lives on the line daily. They serve the community well.

Now, a group of Vernon citizens wants to see the RCMP recognized with a special day.

Vernon’s RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C. committee approached Vernon council asking for support.

“We are a group of Canadian citizens who would like to acknowledge a date to honour and recognize the men and women of the RCMP on Feb. 1 of each year,” said committee co-chairperson Martin von Holst, joined by co-chair Guy Bailey.

“We’re asking for a letter of support so to move forward with a petition to be signed by Canadian citizens, directed to the Province of British Columbia and the federal government to ultimately acknowledge Feb. 1 as RCMP Day.”

It was on Feb. 1, 1920, that Canada’s newly formed national police force was named the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Parliament of Canada voted in 1919 to merge the Dominion Police of Canada — formed in 1868, one year after Confederation — in the east with the North West Mounted Police — founded in 1873 — to create a national police force.

The Province of Manitoba is the only province or territory in the country to acknowledge and RCMP Day, which they do on Feb. 1 and have been doing since 2016.

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Support has been received, said von Holst, from Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold.

“This is a positive, feel-good thing,” said von Holst. “It’s not political and we’re not affiliated with the RCMP. We want to do something nice for the people who serve us every day.”

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Normally, council waits until its next meeting to discuss a delegation’s presentation, and council had unanimously agreed to that in regards to von Holst’s and Bailey’s presentation.

But Coun. Scott Anderson motioned to waive that decision, which passed (though councillors Juliette Cunningham and Catherine Lord were opposed), then asked for a letter of support be drafted.

That motion passed with only Lord opposed.

The RCMP Appreciation Day committee hopes to have the petitions in stores and online by the end of August.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C. committee co-chairpersons Guy Bailey (left) and Martin von Holst present to Vernon council their desire to start a petition campaign that would recognize the service of the RCMP with a special day in B.C. every Feb. 1. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

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