The Honourable Marco Mendicino February 19,
2023Minister of Public Safety Canada
Re: Canadian Police Use of Non–Lethal Weapons – Specifically CS Gas and Sponge Rounds
News reports are indicating that the Federal Government is asking for Canadian Police
jurisdictions to ban the use of non–lethal weapons, specifically CS gas and sponge rounds.
This is very troubling to the RCMP Veterans’ Association and, as such, it is necessary to
express our concern at the direction given by the Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s
office to the RCMP and other Canadian Police Agencies.
Many of our Veterans’ have used forms of non–lethal weapons, including CS gas and sponge
rounds, in the deployment of their duties to minimize injury and risk to public safety when
maintaining or trying to restore order. Today’s environment, as demonstrated by recent
events, are even more complex and require law enforcement to have a tool kit which
includes non lethal options both to restore order and provide a minimal level of response
to violent crowd situations. Serving members who continue to use this type of non–lethal
force have all been highly trained in the act of safe deployment. Our Veterans,’ and those
serving in police forces across Canada, know that proper training and disbursement is
essential. It is well known that the RCMP training program provides one of the highest
levels of training and deployment standards in this area which conforms to the accepted
conventions and safe disbursement.
It is disconcerting when parliamentarians continue to instruct a police agency what they
can or cannot do when the policing action is not only appropriate and lawful but also
protects the citizens served.
Site Commanders are fully trained in determining deployment
of non– lethal weapons and the appropriate level of intervention required to quell the
threat posed to themselves and the Canadian public. Lesser force, than that determined by
these highly skilled individuals, could mean failure to control a riotous crowd presenting
danger to both law enforcement personnel and the general public.
These non– lethal weapons continue to allow police officers in Canada to do their job with
the least amount of harm to the citizens they serve and protect.
Sandy Glenn, President
RCMP Veterans’ Association
Cc: President, National Police Federation
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki
The Canadian Press