Federal NDP candidate Garry Begg appears in RCMP uniform on campaign website

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      The federal New Democrats have nominated an ex-cop to carry the party banner in Surrey in the next election.

      And he's not shy about letting people know about his background.

      Former RCMP inspector Garry Begg will run in Fleetwood-Port Kells, which is represented by Conservative MP Nina Grewal.

      On Begg's website, there's a photo of him in his RCMP uniform.

      So far, nobody has made an issue of this.

      However when former West Vancouver police chief Kash Heed released photos of himself in uniform before the 2009 provincial election, his NDP opponent cried foul.

      Gabriel Yiu claimed at the time that this went against the Code of Professional Conduct Regulation for police officers. Section 9 states that a police officer "commits the disciplinary default of corrupt practice" if any equipment of a municipal police department is used for personal gain or for purposes unrelated to police duty.

      Begg is dressed in a Mounties' uniform and technically, the RCMP is not a municipal police force. Therefore, the code wouldn't apply to him.

      In addition, Begg no longer works as a police officer, so he's not covered by the provincial regulation.

      (Another former police officer running for the New Democrats, Steveston-Richmond East candidate Scott Stewart, does not appear in uniform in his Facebook photos.)

      Garry Begg's campaign website shows him in an RCMP uniform.

      Police officers have run before

      The most successful ex-cop in B.C. politics may be Rich Coleman. An ex-Mountie, he's spent nearly 20 years in the legislature, rising to become deputy premier.

      But Heed had a rough ride during his single term representing Vancouver-Fraserview. His campaign chair was convicted of Election Act offences after Heed had exceeded the election-spending limit.

      Heed lost his post as Solicitor General and ended his political career on the backbench.

      In 2013, former RCMP inspector Amrik Virk was elected in Surrey-Tynehead. He soon found himself in the midst of a scandal over payments to two Kwantlen Polytechnic University administrators while he was on the institution's board.

      Virk ended up being shuffled out of the advanced education portfolio and he's now minister of technology, innovation and citizens' services.

      Virk refused to quit the Mounties before running in the last election and instead took a leave of absence.

      That drew heated criticism from Heed, who accused Virk of being in a conflict of interest for remaining with the nonpartisan RCMP while having a partisan interest in the election.

      Virk, however, insisted that the RCMP Act permitted him to do on leave without pay to pursue a political career.

      Another former cop who was elected was Gerry St. Germaine. After serving as a Conservative MP, he later became a Conservative senator. He's one of nine current or former members of the upper chamber whose expense clams were referred to the Mounties by Auditor General Michael Ferguson.

      St. Germain told the Vancouver Sun that he will appeal Ferguson's findings to retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie. Binnie was retained by the Senate to hear challenges to Ferguson's conclusions.




      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:31pm

      Not sure how wearing the uniform would be benefit?
      The days of it being something respected ARE LONG GONE with their conduct over the last 10 years.

      Spencer Lane

      Jul 13, 2015 at 9:43am

      Completely inappropriate to use the uniform in campaign materials. Everyone who has served in the RCMP or military knows better.

      First we take Alberta...

      Jul 13, 2015 at 10:03am

      Let's not lump this honorable candidate in with the bad apples. He has served his fellow citizens in a dangerous and largely thankless job, and I am grateful that he wishes to continue to serve as MP. If he were running for the Cons, they'd be all over anyone who dared to criticize his dedication to society.

      The NDP is going to form our next government. It's about time. I miss being Canadian.

      Blue Bull

      Jul 13, 2015 at 10:50am

      He's going from one corrupt institution to another.


      Jul 13, 2015 at 4:54pm

      Been a long time since the RCMP commanded much respect, gonna hurt his chances to be elected with his background.

      @First we take Alberta...

      Jul 13, 2015 at 7:17pm

      Exactly how dangerous is it?
      Do more cops die every year, or do they kill more people every year?

      Barry William Teske

      Jul 13, 2015 at 11:39pm

      Who says the Federal NDP is above campaigning on a communities fear of itself?


      Aug 22, 2015 at 3:53pm

      Good one.
      Left Wing Party Promises to Hire Lots More Cops

      As amusing a headline as:
      Vermont Socialist Spends Half a Trillion on Jet Fighter

      Does the Baby Boom Generation have any lasting political legacy or is it all just tasteless parody?