Friday, August 03, 2012

Riding Herd On The Civil Service

Michael Harris reminds his readers that the RCMP has been a troubled organization for a very long time:

There were all those sled dogs they slaughtered; there was that dynamite they stole and tried to link to the FLQ; there was the membership list of the Parti Québécois they stole during one of 400 illegal break-ins; the infamous barn-burning; they pepper-sprayed Canadian citizens at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference so a dictator like Suharto wouldn’t be discommoded; they pepper-sprayed them again at the Summit of the Americas; they tasered an 82 year-old man in his hospital bed in the name of law and order; their investigators were central in the events leading to the torture of Maher Arar; they rifled their own pension fund; they abused their female members if Catherine Galliford has it right and then dragged their heels on the investigation; Robert Dziekanski didn’t survive his airport encounter with them and then they lied about what had happened; Ian Bush didn’t survive his detachment office encounter with them; they killed Darren Varley.

And, of course, there was that investigation into the leak from Ralph Goodale's office during the 2006 election.

Now many women who served in the force are alleging sexual harrassment. The Red Coats -- and the government -- are circling the wagons. Harris writes:

I would submit the problem is government agencies who are trying so hard to please Dear Leader they are at risk of giving themselves hernias.

This week, eighty lawyers accused Jason Kenny of aiding and abetting Conrad Black's return to Canada. Kenny and the Prime Minister claim that only civil servants handled the Black file. But, when the government sends media minders to conferences to keep a tight rein on Canadian scientists, are we to believe that the public service does not understand whose side they are supposed to take?

Methinks Mr. Kenny and the Prime Minister do protest too much.

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