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

Penticton Western News editor Monique Tamminga got her Astra Zeneca vaccine on Monday, May 3, 2021 at a Penticton pharmacy. Vaccines and appointments are available at most Penticton pharmacies this week.
More than 22K Penticton residents vaccinated

More than 35,000 people jabbed in South Okanagan so far

Weekly cases for the South Okanagan rose over April 25 to May 1, particularly in Summerland, according the map from the BC Centre for Disease Control. (BC CDC)
COVID-19 cases more than double in Summerland

Summerland currently has the highest per capita daily case rate

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NeighbourLink Summerland will hold its 2021 fundraising dinner and auction as an online event. (Stock photo)
NeighbourLink Summerland holds online dinner fundraiser

Virtual event and auction will be held on May 27

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

A screenshot of the pathway’s construction. (City of Kelowna)
Okanagan Rail Trail to be extended to downtown Kelowna waterfront

Construction of the pathway is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 10

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Central Okanagan recorded 174 cases throughout the week of April 25 to May 1. (BCCDC/Contributed)
Weekly COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease in Central Okanagan

The Central Okanagan had 174 cases from April 25 to May 1

RCMP did not commit offense in arrest which seriously injured Lake Country man, finds IIO. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Vernon police didn’t use excessive force in domestic takedown: Watchdog

‘One stepped on him and one had his knee in his neck,’ woman told IIO

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Sullivan Mack gets a boost into West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick from Warriors forward Tyson Jugnauth during West Kelowna’s 5-4 B.C. Hockey League pod play win Wednesday, May 5, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors hold on to edge Silverbacks

Warriors up three with five minutes to go, give up two late goals but end up with 5-4 BCHL win over Salmon Arm

A fifth wheel fire came dangerously close to a Lake Country home Wednesday afternoon. (Lake Country Fire Department photo)
RCMP, neighbours save Okanagan house from fire

Fifth wheel up in flames next to home

Most Read