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 the 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

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Veteran Henry Kriwokon has his photo taken by the Western as he celebrates his 99th birthday with friends at the Cellar in Downtown Penticton. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Turning 101, Penticton veteran looks back on life

Henry Kriwokon was one of the soldiers in the famous ‘Wait for me, Daddy’ photo

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Study: Embrace national long-term care standards

Call to direct public funding only to public and non-profit long-term care providers

Revelstoke Search and Rescue is one of the busiest teams in B.C. (Submitted)
Busy day for Revelstoke SAR with 3 rescue calls

The organisation is reminding people to dail it back and play safe

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Administrative headquarters for the Regional District of Central Okanagan in Kelowna. (File photo)
Tempers fly over a pricey picnic shelter in the North Westside

Lack of detail on $121,000 shelter expenditure further incites self-govenance wishes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Big White Village on Dec. 16. (Big White photo)
11 more COVID-19 cases linked to Big White cluster

Interior Health provided an update on the cluster on Friday

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Most Read