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

In this photo taken in 2014, a Fisheries officer displays a chinook salmon that has been snagged - an illegal method of catching fish that involves hooking them, often in the belly or tail or fins. They often get away but the injuries can lead to death or the inability of a female fish to spawn. (DFO photo)
Shuswap man gets more penalties after breaking fishing prohibition

Ashton Creek man gets second prohibition after catching chinook illegally in Shuswap River in 2014

Amanda Eastwood, Community Connections Coordinator with Shuswap Immigrant Services Society, said the society has received reports of racist comments and actions in Salmon Arm and is working on education, other ways to combat the issue. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Working to counter racism in Salmon Arm, Shuswap

Shuswap Immigration Services Society gathers reports on racism in community, looks at remedies

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Shuswap Youth Launch Team members Claire Waite, Abbigail Paetsch, Mikayla Wilkinson, Brynn Gowen and Caillie Hay-Vicars pause for a picture on the day of the Shuswap Youth Launch interactive event, Thursday, Feb. 25. (Contributed)
Shuswap Youth Launch team over the moon with success of interactive event

Salmon Arm youth team invited to apply for $100,000 grant

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Deanna Hyland, Facebook.
Near-miss on Highway 97 in Kelowna

Woman warns other drivers after almost colliding with a truck on Highway 97

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

A fire at the TD Canada Trust bank in Lake Country overnight closed the branch down Tuesday, March 2. (Lake Country Fire Department)
Suspicious fire closes Okanagan bank

RCMP investigating overnight blaze at ATM

The Okanagan Indian Band fire department has identified Jason Graham (middle) as the victim of a fatal vehicle accident in Spallumcheen Saturday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Contributed)
Vernon man dies in crash on Spallumcheen road

The 48-year-old man’s vehicle went off-road on Corksrew Road Saturday night

Pathways Addictions Centre is in jeopardy of closing after Interior Health has pulled all its funding and will be taking over addiction services ‘in house’ as up May 31. (Facebook)
Future of South Okanagan community’s addictions centre in jeopardy after Interior Health pulls funding

Pathways has been in Penticton for over 20 years and has 10 staff, serving around 1,000 people

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Most Read