Thank you very much for the question, sir.
Certainly 15 or 20 years ago, the RCMP would not have allowed—or seldom would have allowed—you to transfer to the isolated northern communities in the three northern territories. At that time we had hundreds, if not more, applicants looking for transfers north who already had a substantial amount of experience. That's not true today and the challenge that I think they're facing in the RCMP is that they are probably thousands of officers short already. They do not have enough officers to even fill the positions they have across the country. On top of that, they have a much lower number of officers applying to go into the isolated posts in the northern territories, for example.
As a result, they're having to send people with less experience than they would have in the past. That is a problem. I don't know if it's one that's solved easily, beyond getting the RCMP numbers up to the level they should be and then trying to see whether or not they could recruit from those first nation, Inuit and Métis communities to go back into those communities—and I would argue the same for northern Saskatchewan. Many Inuit would not necessarily want to work in the community they grew up in, for example, so I'm not suggesting that, but nothing stops them from working in another community in a different part of Baffin Island.
I'm always back to the same thing: If we cannot represent those we serve, we're not representing those we serve. As I would argue in the past, we want to be recruiting with a window, not a mirror. If we can't get to that point, we're probably not going to be successful in in cracking this nut, as I think Mr. Fergus said.