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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The RCMP and the Liberals: Looks like Gomery was the right thing to do

Warren Kinsella has been consistent and vociferous in his position that the Gomery Inquiry into the Sponsorship Scandal was a waste. The RCMP could have handled the file and should have handled it, he maintains.

Of course, Kinsella's criticisms are not just about the RCMP being frozen out, but also about Justice Gomery's qualifications and his impartiality, or lack thereof.

But putting aside the particulars about Gomery, it looks like somebody other than the RCMP should have been given the task of investigating the Liberals after all:

The retired civilian watchdog over the RCMP says the Martin government "didn't want any waves" and tried to "shut her up" by offering to continue her salary if she stepped down early.

Shirley Heafey, the lawyer who chaired the RCMP Public Complaints Commission for eight years until last October, said she had a "dreadful" time due to what she called "direct interference" by the Martin government with her independent role.

The interference included being audited "to death" -- a clear misuse of the office of the auditor as a tool for punishing an independent watchdog. That's two strikes against the Martin government, if these allegations are true.

Too bad Anne McLellan lost her seat.  She certainly has some explaining to do:

Ms. Heafey singled out what she saw as a lack of co-operation and support by then-deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, who as minister of public safety was responsible for the RCMP.

"She was very, very supportive of the RCMP and she didn't want any waves while the government was in a minority position, and I made waves whenever I had to," commented Ms. Heafey, who during her tenure criticized the RCMP for car chases that injured innocent bystanders and warned of looming disaster if Parliament fails to implement civilian oversight of the Mounties' burgeoning role in national security.

Interestingly, McLellan still has a spokesperson:

[Hilary] Geller, a spokeswoman for Ms. McLellan [and her former chief of staff], denied all of Ms. Heafey's allegations.

"Neither McLellan, myself or anybody in our office tried in any way to tell Shirley what she should or shouldn't do. And I think for her to speculate that Treasury Board audits were somehow Anne McLellan trying to interfere is simply baseless speculation. That's absolutely 100 per cent false."

Ms. Geller stated there was "absolutely not" any desire or attempt by Ms. McLellan or anyone else in the government to avert a public hearing into Kingsclear.

Much of the pressure was applied concerning a probe into a cover up of sexual abuse by an RCMP staff sergeant at the now-defunct Kingsclear youth training centre in New Brunswick.

But imagine if the RCMP had the Sponsorship file. How would that have played out? Would the RCMP have been as diligent in investigating a government that had been so supportive in helping the RCMP cover up their problems?

Indeed, if the RCMP was so tight with Martin, maybe the outcome of their investigation would have focused even more blame on Jean Chretien. As a way of currying favour, perhaps, or paying back a debt. Bears thinking about, especially by those who think Justice Gomery had it in for Jean Chretien.

This also casts the Ralph Goodale announcement in a new light. Recall that right in the middle of the election, a bombshell exploded in the Liberal campaign when the RCMP announced they were conducting a criminal investigation into whether Finance Minister Ralph Goodale or his office had been responsible for leaking the income trust taxation decision ahead of the announcement, allowing key investors to make a tidy profit.

Many people wondered why the RCMP had pulled the pin on that grenade instead of waiting three weeks until after the election. In retrospect, most agree that the Liberals never recovered from that announcement.

Could it be that the RCMP had come to the conclusion that they were too closely tied to a dying Martin government? Could it be that the RCMP decided that unless they made a bold move to separate themselves from the Liberal Party and the Paul Martin government in particular, they ran the risk of being pulled down with them, even if the Liberals limped into a victory in that election? Did the RCMP decide that they needed to make a gesture to the Conservatives in case Stephen Harper won, and the Goodale announcement was the ideal gesture to make?

Ironically, that gesture might have guaranteed a loss for the Liberals. In any case, if Heafey's allegations are true, then there needs to be a serious shake up at the top of the RCMP organization, and that's just a start.

Posted by Steve Janke on May 30, 2006 | Permalink


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If you ask most Liberals, they'll tell you that the reason they lost the election is because the RCMP went public with the income trust investigation.

Posted by: road hammer | 2006-05-30 8:19:50 AM

You know, it is indeed sad how far down Canada and the RCMP has sunk into the slough of Despondency.

The RCMP was a once proud bastion of truth/justice and fair handling of people, no matter what religion, race, or creed.

The RC's have a tarnished leader. Talking to the local's I really feel sorry for them. Hard to "Maintain the Right" when your bosses in Ottawa "Steal from the Right", or have their fingers in AdScam or become Cretien's private SS squad.

Don't know when this all started the downward slide, I would suspect back in the 70's with the political correct politicians dictating how the force was to be run.

Under the guise of "equal opportunity employment"

I applied to the RC's back in '76/77 and was told by a Staff Sargeant 'not to bother'. Not a degrogatory way, but in a matter of fact way because I was a WASP. A White Anglo-Saxion Protestant.

They were (and guess still are, ironically) looking for visible minorities, as in Native, Asian, or Female to shore up their ranks.

Nothing wrong in that idea, but when it becomes a mandate and excludes strong healthy white males, then something is wrong with the picture.

Like firefighters, I'm all for 5'2" females joining as long as they can carry me (6'0/250LBS) out of a flaming building...and in time.

Agreed, there needs a wholesale cleanout of the RCMP management in Ottawa as the corruption of the Liberals has rubbed off on them.

Akin to you become like the company you keep.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2006-05-30 10:02:19 AM

It's not uncommon in statist societies that over-controlling governments use the police to stay in power. This clearly has been the case in Canada.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-05-30 10:21:33 AM

and what better way to control the populace than disarming them first.Registration them confiscation.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-30 5:02:42 PM

What's your point?

Posted by: Lubomir Weslowski | 2006-05-30 8:59:14 PM

Two Poles in a row ... run for your lives.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-30 10:23:47 PM

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