MONCTON, N.B. — A prosecutor is asking for the maximum fine against the RCMP for Labour Code convictions stemming from gunman Justin Bourque’s 2014 Moncton, N.B., rampage that left three officers dead and two injured.
Crown prosecutor Paul Adams says the $1 million fine would amount to “a clear declaration of disapproval” of RCMP conduct that left its officers outgunned and ill-prepared.
He says the force knew of the need for better weapons seven years before the Moncton shootings, and says “there was a confusing lack of urgency in dealing with this type of risk.”
Bourque had targeted police officers in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.
Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche were killed, while constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were injured in the shootings.
Defence lawyer Mark Ertel is suggesting a penalty of $500,000, much of it as donations to groups suggested by the Crown.
Judge Leslie Jackson convicted the national police force of failing to properly equip and train its members.
At a sentencing hearing Thursday, the Moncton provincial court judge was given victim impact statements from the wives of the three fallen officers.
One of them, Angela Gevaudan, said in a recording that as a dispatcher with the Moncton-area Codiac detachment, she was aware of safety concerns for officers prior to the June 2014 shooting.
“I feel there was not an appropriate process to address those concerns,” she said.
Gevaudan said there needs to be an independent process to monitor and address safety concerns.
She said that knowing there were safety concerns and not being able to have them addressed only increased her mental suffering and she now suffers from PTSD.
Adams told Jackson that if the RCMP officers had the proper training and equipment, it would have been “a game-changer.”
“They (the force) was responsible to prepare the officers to deal with this situation, which they failed to do,” Adams said.
Adams also asked that the RCMP be ordered to make a public statement on what measures have been taken since the Moncton tragedy.
Bourque pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press