Aden Withers (left) and Heather Friesen (right) during the protest of the Kelowna RCMP on Nov. 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Aden Withers (left) and Heather Friesen (right) during the protest of the Kelowna RCMP on Nov. 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

More than a month after Kelowna RCMP announced the completion of its internal review about the high number of sexual assaults that were deemed “unfounded” in 2018 and 2019, an update has yet to be given.

Now, following a brief protest in council chambers on Monday, the mayor said he will request the report himself.

The City of Kelowna and the local detachment came under fire in October 2019 after Kelowna Capital News revealed nearly 40 per cent of sexual assaults reported to police were deemed “unfounded.”

Subsequently, the RCMP launched an internal investigation into those numbers, the results of which are now in the hands of Kelowna Mounties.

“We have completed the review and are going through the results,” wrote RCMP Cst. Solana Pare in a Jan. 23 release. “When we have a full understanding of the results, we will provide an update which should be within the next few weeks.”

Those few weeks have now passed and Kelowna’s sexual assault survivors and allies are left waiting for answers.

“I’m embarrassed that this is what our city has become,” said survivor Heather Friesen after her demonstration in council chambers.

“It’s been over a month and we haven’t heard a word. Why? Because they have to put their spin on it.

“I want answers; I’m tired of waiting. Why (isn’t city council) asking for it? Why aren’t they protecting the citizens of Kelowna? Why aren’t they asking for answers for the city of Kelowna? Their silence is rape culture.”

Following the council meeting, Mayor Colin Basran confirmed he will request the report from the RCMP but until it is released there’s nothing he can say on the matter.

“Until we know the findings of the report, and until I see it, there isn’t really anything to talk about,” he said.

“Would I like to know the findings of that report? I would. And would I be willing to request the results of that? Yes, I would.”

The mayor said that a sexual assault unit within the Kelowna RCMP, as Friesen has been petitioning for, is a possibility if it’s recommended by the report.

Friesen said the mayor has ignored numerous requests for a one-on-one meeting. Basran denied the accusation and said he would gladly meet with her.

“That is completely false. The last time she requested a meeting, she was yelling at me at a public meeting at UBCO,” said Basran.

Kelowna Capital News’ requests for comment from the RCMP were not returned.

READ MORE: ‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP completes internal review of sexual assault cases deemed ‘unfounded’


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

A member of the Okanagan Mission Secondary School community has tested positive for COVID-19. (Google Maps)
Another COVID-19 case confirmed at Okanagan Mission Secondary school

Interior Health has confirmed a member of the school community tested positive for the virus

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)
Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Const. Samantha McClellan (left) and Staff-Sgt. Jeff Faulkner (right) accept a bag of dog treats from Vernon’s Marco Lavigne at the Cram The Cruiser fundraiser event in support of the Pet Soup Kitchen Tuesday, July 27, at Vernon’s Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition and Siupply. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
RCMP to host annual ‘Stuff the Cruiser’ event safely amid COVID-19

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Kelowna RCMP Detachment at 1190 Richter Avenue

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest B.C. premier tells Okanagan girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlift injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

Most Read