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Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The RCMP is Canada’s national police force – providing an array of services from municipal policing, to national security intelligence gathering, to the legendary Musical Ride. Despite a series of scandals in recent decades, the RCMP remains one of Canada's most iconic national institutions.

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Pride Toronto Votes to Keep Police Out of Parade

Members of Pride Toronto voted 163–161 to prevent uniformed police officers from participating in the city’s annual pride parade and related events, reversing a decision made by Pride Toronto’s board of directors in October. Police were barred from marching in the parade in 2017 and 2018 in response to a Black Lives Matter protest that halted the parade in 2016. Members of Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ community were also critical of the Toronto Police Service’s handling of several disappearances and murders in Toronto’s gay village.

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100th Anniversary of Winnipeg General Strike

The 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, which saw more than 30,000 workers in the city go on strike between 15 May and 25 June 1919, was commemorated with various events in Winnipeg. The 100th anniversary of “Bloody Saturday,” when rioting and police brutality left two people dead and dozens more injured, was marked with the unveiling of an art installation by artist and filmmaker Noam Gonick on 21 June. The installation, at the corner of Main Street and Market Avenue, features a sculpture of a half-sunken streetcar lit from within. It commemorates the overturning of a streetcar by workers at the height of the protest.

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BC Murder Suspects Found Dead After Nationwide Manhunt

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod were found dead by apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds in a densely forested area in Northern Manitoba. They had reportedly been dead for several days. The Port Alberni men, both 19, had been the subject of an extensive nationwide manhunt that lasted three weeks. They were suspected of murdering American Lucas Fowler, 23, and Australian Chynna Deese, 24, four days before also killing UBC professor Leonard Dyck, 64, in Northern BC. Schmegelsky and McLeod had been formally charged with Dyck’s murder and were the lead suspects in the deaths of Fowler and Deese. The murders had drawn international attention.  

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17 People Shot in Toronto Over Long Weekend

Toronto police scrambled to deal with 14 shooting incidents in five different neighbourhoods over the August long weekend. Seventeen people were injured. The violence led to renewed calls for a handgun ban in Toronto, including from Mayor John Tory. Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, now the minister of border security and organized crime reduction, did not rule out a ban but said that more consultation was required.

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Thunder Bay Police Department Accused of Systemic Racism

A two-year investigation conducted by the Office of the Independent Review Director (OIPRD) concluded that “systemic racism and neglect” is rampant in the Thunder Bay Police Services and tainted their investigations into the deaths of nine Indigenous men. The report also recommended psychological testing for prospective officers to weed out those with racist attitudes. The day the report was issued, Maclean’s named Thunder Bay Canada’s “top city for hate crimes” and published an article titled “Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police.”

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Canadian Peacekeepers in Haiti

Since 1990, peacekeepers from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and civilian police forces, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), have served in Haiti on various United Nations (UN) missions. The purpose of these missions was to help stop the internal violence and civil unrest that had plagued the country for years and help promote and protect human rights and strengthen police and judicial systems.

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Resources for BC Killers’ Manhunt Should be Available for MMIWG Cases, Advocates Say

As the hunt for two teens suspected of murdering three tourists in BC intensified, Indigenous rights advocates openly questioned why such extensive resources are not utilized in cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. In response to the killing of three tourists in Northern BC, which drew international attention, the RCMP coordinated a search that involved different police forces and the Canadian Armed Forces. Armoured vehicles, drones, K9 units, all-terrain vehicles, boats and military and civilian aircraft were utilized. “It is a little bit eyebrow-raising because of the different response,” said Sheila North, a former grand chief. “Families that do their own searches are feeling a little bit let down and not respected in the same way as these other families are.”  

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Murdoch Mysteries

Murdoch Mysteries is a TV series about William Murdoch, a fictional Victorian-era detective who is ahead of his time and uses forensic science and technology to solve Toronto’s most complex crimes. Often referred to as a Victorian-era CSI, the long-running police procedural features a mix of humour, intrigue, science fiction, history and period production values. Based on Maureen Jennings’s successful series of mystery novels, the show  attracted a cult following after premiering on City TV in 2008. It garnered a much larger audience after being picked up by the CBC in 2013. It was Canada’s highest-rated scripted television series in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and won the Golden Screen Award in 2017, 2018 and 2020. It is seen by millions of viewers in more than 100 countries.

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Klondike Gold Rush

The discovery of gold in the Yukon in 1896 led to a stampede to the Klondike region between 1897 and 1899. This led to the establishment of Dawson City (1896) and subsequently, the Yukon Territory (1898).

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Dennis Oland Found Not Guilt of Murdering Father

Dennis Oland, the heir to the Moosehead Breweries empire run by his father, Richard Oland, was found not guilty of murdering his father. Richard was found beaten to death in his office in July 2011. Dennis was found guilty of second-degree murder in December 2015, but that conviction was overturned in 2016 and a new trial was ordered. The second trial was conducted by a judge alone after prosecutors and police were found to have engaged in improper jury selection procedures.  

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Murray Hyman Kirsh (Primary Source)

Murray Hyman Kirsh served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. After his grandparents were killed by Nazis in Europe, Kirsh felt it was his duty to enlist to serve in the war. From 1942 to 1944, Kirsh served on the home front as a military officer guarding Allied prisoners of war. Listen to his story of German POWs trying to escape during his watch.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

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Manitoba and Confederation

Canada’s fifth province, Manitoba entered Confederation with the passing of the Manitoba Acton 12 May 1870. The AssiniboineDakotaCree and Dene peoples had occupied the land for up to 15,000 years. Since 1670, it was part of Rupert’s Landand was controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Canadian government purchased Rupert’s Land at the behest of William McDougall, Manitoba’s Father of Confederation. No residents of the area were consulted about the transfer; in response, Louis Rieland the Métis led the Red River Rebellion. It resulted in an agreement to join Confederation. Ottawa agreed to help fund the new provincial government, give roughly 1.4 million acres of land to the Métis, and grant the province four seats in Parliament. However, Canada mismanaged its promise to guarantee the Métis their land rights. The resulting North-West Rebellion in 1885 led to the execution of Riel. The creation of Manitoba — which, unlike the first four provinces, did not control its natural resources — revealed Ottawa’s desire to control western development.