2021 International Women's Day

March 1, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario

Media Advisory

To mark International Women's Day on March 8th, deployed Canadian police officers will be available for telephone interviews on March 5, 2021 to speak about their personal experiences on mission.

Interviews will be on a first come first served basis for one-on-one 20-minute blocks. If you are interested in interviewing any of the police officers listed below, please contact RCMP Media Relations: RCMP.HQMediaRelations-DGRelationsmedias.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Date
March 5 2021
Time
Please see individual availabilities below.

Did you know?

  • This year's United Nations Women theme for International Women's Day is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the RCMP, Public Safety Canada and Global Affairs Canada, deploys Canadian police officers all around the world, including to Ukraine, the West Bank, Haiti, Mali, and most recently the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Canadian policewomen have been deploying overseas since the beginning! Approximately five percent of the first 100-member contingent to Namibia were women.
  • Supt. Marie-Claude Côté conducted gender analysis to assist, support and mentor the Iraqis on finding ways to counter Daesh actions.
  • Prior to joining the RCMP, Sgt Laura Cluney served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which included a deployment to the former Yugoslavia as part of the United Nations Protection Force.
  • In 2017, Cst Sophie Lalonde competed in the World Police and Fire Games in California, and won gold in boxing.
  • The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women's Year and began celebrating International Women's Day on March 8, later adopting a resolution designating March 8 as International Women's Day.
  • As part of the CPA's commitment to advancing gender equality in UN peace operations, one of the RCMP's goals is to meet or exceed the UN's target of 30% women Individual Police Officers in peacekeeping missions by 2028. Over the past six years, the average number of Canadian women police officers deployed per year has been 23 percent, with the highest recently reaching 47 percent.

Canadian police officers

Superintendent Marie-Claude Côté

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Iraq 2019-2020
Bilingual
Available: flexible

Marie-Claude Côté graduated from the RCMP in 1993 and was posted to Burnaby BC in general policing. In 2001, she worked in close personal protection with the Vancouver VIP Section, after which she was transferred the Prime Minister's Protection Detail in Ottawa, where she provided security to three Prime Ministers. After some time in National Security, she went on to work at the RCMP Headquarters' Protective Policing Services Unit and assisted in the preparations for major events, such as the 2010 Winter Olympics. Supt. Côté was commissioned to the rank of Inspector in 2013 and became the executive assistant to the Chief Strategic Policy and Planning Officer until 2015. After postings in Protection Detail and Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS), she was promoted to the rank of Superintendent and became Officer-in-Charge of PPS Operations in September of 2017. In October 2019, Supt. Côté took on the role of Director Gender and Protection and travelled to Baghdad, Iraq to join the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve that was comprised of 77 contributing nations. Supt. Côté has just transferred to Iqaluit, Nunavut as the new Officer-in-Charge of Criminal Operations for the entire territory.

Sergeant Laura Cluney

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine – Bilateral Engagement
Currently deployed in Ukraine
Unilingual (English)
Available: 7:00 am to 10:00 am EST

Born and raised in Manitoba, Sergeant Laura Cluney grew up on a small farm just north of Alexander, MB. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces after graduating high school and was posted to CFB Shilo. Her military career spanned from CFB Moose Jaw to CFB Chilliwack. Sgt. Cluney was then deployed to Croatia with UNPROFOR. Her experiences in war torn former Yugoslavia lit the fire for her desire to become an RCMP officer. In 1998, she graduated from Depot. Over the years, she has been posted to Langley, BC, Moose Jaw SK, and Regina SK, where she worked in the Region Traffic Services. Sgt. Cluney also worked in Whitehorse, Yukon. After some time in Ottawa, she jumped at the opportunity to support another law enforcement agency to become better at serving and protecting their communities, the Canadian Police Mission Ukraine. She has been there for just over three months amid the COVID pandemic.

Constable Sophie Lalonde

Sûreté du Québec
United Nations multidimensional integrated stabilization mission in Mali
Currently deployed in Mali
Unilingual (French)
Available: 7:00am to 9:00am EST

Constable Sophie Lalonde completed her CEGEP in police technology in 2008. After completing police training at the École Nationale de Police du Québec in 2009, she started working with Sûreté du Québec in the city of Mont-Laurier. After a few years there, Cst. Lalonde transferred to the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts area. In addition to gaining experience as a patrol officer, she was also a relief supervisor and received training to become an explosives inspector. She completed a university degree in psychology in 2018. Cst. Lalonde is an avid traveller and experienced in Karate, having earned her black belt and competed at the national level twice. In 2017, Cst Sophie Lalonde competed in the World Police and Fire Games in California, and won gold in boxing.

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Contact information

Media Relations
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Email: RCMP.HQMediaRelations-DGRelationsmedias.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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