North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold, from left, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and City of Vernon Coun. Kari Gares present Inspector Kevin Keane with the framed proclamation declaring Feb. 1, 2020, RCMP Appreciation Day in British Columbia on Dec. 17, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold, from left, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and City of Vernon Coun. Kari Gares present Inspector Kevin Keane with the framed proclamation declaring Feb. 1, 2020, RCMP Appreciation Day in British Columbia on Dec. 17, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Province proclaims RCMP Appreciation Day in B.C.

Feb. 1, 2020, to honour RCMP contributions in time for 100th anniversary

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster read from the proclamation Tuesday at the Vernon museum declaring Feb. 1, 2020, as RCMP Appreciation Day in British Columbia.

“It’s just a thank you for the 100 years of service,” Foster said.

And there’s no better time than the present.

On Feb. 1, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be celebrating its 100th anniversary of dedicated service to Canadian communities.

“Their efforts and commitment to the safety and security of all Canadians are part of the fabric of this nation,” Greater Vernon Museum and Archives executive director Steve Fleck said on behalf of the RCMP Appreciation Committee Dec. 17. “Our committee is also thankful for the support of all levels of government in our community.”

The announcement of Feb. 1 marking RCMP Appreciation Day in the province as a result of local efforts, Fleck said.

RCMP inspector Kevin Keane, who was present to accept the proclamation, said he was humbled and appreciated the support from the community and all levels of government.

North Okanagan-Shuswap Member of Parliament Mel Arnold said this is something he’s been pushing for in Ottawa.

In June, he introduced a bill to establish Feb. 1 as a national day to recognize, honour and appreciate Canada’s police force and the service they’ve provided since it was established in 1920.

“As the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadians prepare to celebrate the RCMP’s Centennial Anniversary on Feb. 1, 2020, I believe it is necessary and fitting for Feb. 1 to be recognized as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Day,” he put forward in a letter in late July.

He noted during the day’s special announcement that due to the lengthy process of federal politics and general election this fall, it’s unlikely a private bill from any MP could establish this as a nationally recognized day before the anniversary. Arnold reiterated his commitment to reintroduce the bill this year.

The RCMP Appreciation Committee made note of several upcoming events to mark the special occasion scheduled for the new year.

Students of School District No. 22 will be taking part in classroom projects while learning more about the role of RCMP and first responders in the community. Once complete, examples of the projects will be on display at the museum.

The Downtown Vernon Association and Chamber of Commerce will collaborate with the Appreciation Committee and aid in the promotion of the 100th anniversary by encouraging members to display RCMP logos in store windows.

The Vernon Vipers will give the RCMP a nod when they hit the ice Jan. 31. And finally, the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives will be hosting a special recognition event on Feb. 1. The history of RCMP contributions and first responders will be on display throughout the museum.

READ MORE: Darkest night of the year lit up with festive tea party in Vernon

READ MORE: First look at proposed new rec centre in Vernon


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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