The North Star


Secret RCMP report

A wake-up call or a call for repression?

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In 2023, a secret police report landed on Justin Trudeau's desk, giving his morning coffee the taste of raw reality. Entitled "Whole-of-Government Five-Year Trends for Canada", the document, unveiled in March 2024 thanks to the Access to Information Act, sounds like a grim warning to the country's elites. Yet few are surprised: falling living standards, international conflicts and a loss of confidence in institutions could very well destabilize the Canadian state.

The 9-page document has been heavily redacted, including 2 full pages completely covered in digital white-out. Part of the introduction reads: "The situation will probably deteriorate further in the next five years, as the early effects of climate change and a global recession add their weight to the ongoing crises," which pretty much summarizes what's left. 

The confessions contained in this report are rarely heard from the mouths of politicians and government organizations. For example:

"The coming period of recession will also accelerate the decline in living standards that the younger generations have already witnessed compared to earlier generations. For example, many Canadians under 35 are unlikely ever to be able to buy a place to live. The fallout from this decline in living standards will be exacerbated by the fact that the difference between the extremes of wealth is greater now in developed countries than it has been at any time in several generations."

The "fallout" mentioned by the RCMP in this passage (under the heading "Popular Resentment") doesn't really seem to concern the impact the recession will have on poor and working Canadians, but rather the impact it will have on their attitudes towards the RCMP and the government.

The heading of the next section is "Erosion of Trust", and while it takes up a third of the page, the only uncovered sentence states that there is "marked social and political polarization in the Western world". If you were wondering what this means for the RCMP, it looks like you're out of luck.

Regarding climate change, the report says that it will "impact all facets of government", and "will likely have a disproportionately adverse effect on indigenous settlements", thus continuing the trend of stating obvious facts while concealing any conclusions.

The "next steps" section at the end of the report is, of course, redacted. However, it does seem that the RCMP is not fully prepared to deal with all these crises, referring to the image of a precarious house of cards: "Capacity building through the attraction and retention of qualified staff remains a challenge to law enforcement."

But what does that mean for the average person? It means that even the RCMP recognizes that the situation is serious, and understands why. It also means that the government will do everything in its power to stifle any movement for change, because it sees this reality as a threat to public safety, not as a problem to be solved.

Take as an example the current housing crisis, with the financialization of the rental housing market over the last few decades. We have witnessed an explosion in the concentration of rental proprieties in the hands of a handful of monopoly and corporate landlords: the 25 largest in Canada now own 20% of the rental housing market. The fact that these gigantic monopolies are squeezing even more the working people of Canada is not a big concern to the government, but when working people get fed up, that's the real issue. This is probably why they censored the "Next step" section. Let's just say, nicely, that it probably doesn't contain a whole lot of suggestions for improving our lives.

So, instead of taking this report as a wake-up call, instead of realizing that maybe it's time to take steps to improve people's quality of life, to give workers a greater voice in the economy so that it serves their interests, to solve the housing crisis, to put an end to pointless wars that only benefit economic elites, instead of siding with working people and not with Canada's own financial and corporate oligarchs, the government is looking into how the RCMP can 'deal' with the upcoming 'fallout'. What a magnificent democracy, isn't it?

Maybe it's time to stop letting ourselves be pushed around.

The entire declassified RCMP document can be found here

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