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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conservatives compromising RCMP independence

Conservatives compromising RCMP independence: NDP
Conservatives move to take control of RCMP communications and meetings
January 31, 2012OTTAWA —

New Democrats are condemning the Conservative government’s policy requiring all RCMP communications be approved by Conservative Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

“The Conservative’s policy means the RCMP must ask permission from the Minister before doing any media,” said NDP Critic for Public Safety, Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey-North). “This not only muzzles the RCMP but removes the essential arms length distance between Harper Government and Canada’s police force. This is wrong”

This unprecedented attempt to control the force will not only affect RCMP communications with media, but also could apply to meetings between the RCMP Commissioner and MPs or senators.

“It’s alarming that the elected representatives of Canadians will no longer be able to meet with the Commissioner, unless they get approval from the minister,” said Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay-Saint-Constant), New Democrat Deputy Critic for Public Safety. “The government must stop introducing policies that undermine the independence of institutions that are there to protect Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

New Democrats continued to hold the government to account for this decision in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday night.

New Democrat Critics for Public Safety will also raise questions about this new policy with the Commissioner when he appears before the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, January 31.

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