I can’t figure out the Harper government. While one side of its mouth talks endlessly about the need to make police work easier, the other sounds an awful lot like its trying to interfere with the ability of the RCMP to conduct business independently.
Internal emails obtained by CBC News show that RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has ordered all senior Mounties to get clearance from his office before committing to any meetings with MPs or senators.
Specifically, they are to notify a liaison office that co-ordinates RCMP strategy with the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
In an email dated March 22 from Paulson to more than 50 chief superintendents, assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners, the commissioner said that meetings or lunches with parliamentarians “can have unintended and/or negative consequences for the organization and the government. Therefore, should you or your staff receive such requests, I am directing that you advise my office and the chief strategic policy and planning officer.”
Ordering that police officials who’s job it has historically been to investigate goings on within governments not meet with anyone parliamentary without clearing it with the ruling government first? Nope, that doesn’t sound fishy at all.
I know that Harper and crew (at least to the extent that and crew are allowed to say anything) are all about complete control of messaging and information flow, but once you start messing with a public police force, things have gotten out of hand. Call me nutty, but if the Conservatives are that worried about negative consequences, perhaps there need to be some and the RCMP should be meeting with more MPs and senators, not less.
The office of Vic Toews didn’t respond to requests for comment, which should surprise nobody. An RCMP spokesperson, however, hilariously and ironically stated that this new policy was adopted in part to keep the force from becoming embroiled in political debates.
Good luck with that.