Supt. Kara Triance, detachment commander for the Kelowna RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Supt. Kara Triance, detachment commander for the Kelowna RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

RCMP offers apology to Kelowna Pride Society for ‘misstep’

The apology comes following the launch of the Kelowna Safe Place Program

Kelowna’s top cop Supt. Kara Triance is apologizing on behalf of the local RCMP for a misstep in launching a program to protect members of the LGBT2Q+ community without consulting those who it would benefit.

The Safe Place program was launched on Feb. 22, in Kelowna, as a way to give LGBT2Q+ community members who may be victims of crime, feeling unsafe or in distress to come into a building or business and have a safe shelter to wait for police assistance.

While the project has been part of a provincial program for the last five years in consultation with the provincial LGBT2Q+ community, the Kelowna detachment did not consult with the local pride society before its launch.

The Kelowna Pride Society reacted with ‘disappointment’ and ‘concern’ that local officers did not reach out and consult the community before the Safe Place Program was launched.

According to the pride society, it did not know about the initiative until it was made public through media reports.

“Historically, the relationship between the RCMP and the LGBT2Q+ community has been tumultuous. This is why we are disappointed and concerned about the lack of community consultation, which leaves us with many unanswered questions at this time,” stated the Kelowna Pride Society.

Supt. Triance held a press conference Tuesday afternoon following the pride society’s statement.

“The connections that were built (provincially) through that program are ones that I brought from other communities I worked in, and I really deeply apologize for how we have moved forward in rolling out this program,” Supt. Triance said.

She added that she spoke with the Kelowna Pride Society, and they accepted her apology for how the program was launched. She will be meeting with the society later this week to discuss how the program should move forward.

“We will work in collaboration to ensure this is done respectfully and making sure safety is taken into consideration as we move forward, that all of our areas of concern are addressed,” she said.

Several businesses within Kelowna have already signed up to be part of the Safe Space Program and, at this time, can still welcome and harbour any LGBT2Q+ community who need a safe space to call RCMP.

However, RCMP is putting the program on hold and will not be accepting additional businesses that may wish to sign up to the program at this time.

Supt. Triance said she would work with the Kelowna Pride Society to ensure what has been rolled out provincially is aligned with how the program is launched locally.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are so important to me that we move forward with this perspective in mind in everything we do,” said Supt. Triance. “I am not standing here saying we are going to get it right every time, but I am standing here to tell you I am committed to listening to people and ensuring we are assessing how we are doing our work, reexamining it where appropriate to do so and moving forward that we are taking into perspective a lens that I clearly didn’t have on this as early as this morning.”

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP launches safe place program for LGBTQ2S+ community


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LGBTQRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Fortunato family received the Bill Neilson Volunteer of the Year Award for their efforts with the Summerland Skating Club. (Contributed)
Summerland Skating Club members recognized for efforts

Three awards presented to members of Summerland club

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

Mike Boersma and Adrienne Betts of Granny’s Cafe, at left, present Janet Peake of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, with a cheque for $1,310 from a recent fundraising event. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Cafe raises more than $1,300 for Summerland Food Bank

Money raised during one-day fundraiser in early February

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Armstrong’s Jesse Crowe, shown at the home of golf, St. Andrew’s in Scotland, has been named the Royal York Golf Course’s director of golf operations. (Facebook photo)
Okanagan golf pro soars to home course position

Jesse Crowe becomes director of golf operations at Armstrong’s Royal York Golf Course

Most Read