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With that distinctive red uniform and those majestic horses, there's no mistaking the RCMP. But tradition aside, their job is serious business.
Put it this way: the RCMP is our FBI. But that's not all. They police most of our provinces, our territories, First Nation communities, and municipalities, too. In fact, in seventy-five per cent of Canada, the RCMP are the cops in charge.
But like any police force, they've faced controversy - and in recent years, the RCMP image has taken a hit.
There was the Maher Arar affair. The RCMP told the FBI they suspected Arar of being an al-Qaida terrorist, so the US arrested Arar and deported him to Syria - where he was tortured in prison. That one caused so much controversy, that in 2006, commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli resigned.
This is the man who replaced him. William Elliott - a career civil servant and the first civilian to run the RCMP.
And three months into the job, Elliott had to deal with another scandal. The death of Robert Dziekanski - who was tasered by RCMP officers at the Vancouver airport. In that case, the RCMP investigated itself and found no wrongdoing.