Maybe it was a reaction to Whistler’s late-onset summer. Maybe it was the overwhelming wedding demand of Saturday’s magic trifecta — 7/7/7 — and the general essence of chaos in the air from, ironically, the seven other weddings that took place in town that languorous day. Maybe, though one desperately hopes not, it was the spectacle of black marrying white. Maybe it was because the bride and groom weren’t wearing clothes.
Or maybe it was just that, well, the bride was a real bitch.
I suspect it has at least something to do with one of the litany of challenges William Elliott will face as the new RCMP Commissioner.
Little Stevie Hapless sent shockwaves through the Mounties last week when he broke with tradition and gave the job of top Mountie to a lifelong Ottawa bureaucrat instead of continuing the RCMP’s strict policy of inbreeding. The reaction among active Mounties was reported to be muted, speaking out against the ultimate superior not generally being considered a positive careerpath move. But among retired Mounties and RCMP groupies, there was shock and awe… okay, shock and outrage. Many were mortified at the thought of Elliott donning the fabled red serge, none so stridently as Mrs. Elliott no doubt.
Perhaps there’s room for compromise. No red serge but Commissioner Elliott may order a pair of those flashy thousand-dollar boots sported by his disgraced predecessor, Giuliano Zaccardelli.
The outrage stems, of course, from the fact Commissioner Elliott has never been a cop, never walked a beat, drawn a gun, worked over an innocent suspect, looked the other way, gotten his man. How can he possibly be qualified to manage — which is, after all, the job of Commissioner — the RCMP if he’s never been one? Why, that’s as ridiculous as managing a major league baseball team if you’ve never been a player. Or managing Bell Canada if you’ve never been a lineman. Or starting a donut franchise if you’ve only ever been a hockey player. Outrageous.
But among the other myriad tasks of repairing a “horribly broken” management system and structure, fixing the pension fund scandal, embracing an other than paramilitary command structure, salving the seeping wounds left behind by the forces’ performance in the Air India, Maher Arar, Ken Smith, et. al ., cases, Commissioner Elliott needs to do something about what I suspect is a key component of every recruit’s training at Regina’s Mountie School: the sweeping socialization into the world of Javertian Philosophy.