Given evidence which emerged last week at the Duffy trial, the NDP's Charlie Angus has written to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, asking why Nigel Wright was not charged with offering a bribe. Could it be that the Commissioner is under Mr. Harper's thumb? Given the record, Michael Harris writes, it's beginning to look like the entire force may be acting as Mr. Harper's private security detail:
The hallmark of the Harper era has been an attempt by the government to take ownership of all federal human assets in a degrading and political way. Civil servants have been used as props in fake TV news items. The justice department has drafted a string of unconstitutional legislation reflecting the CPC’s ideological agenda. Federal scientists have been muzzled like unruly dogs.
But one of the most disturbing elements of this tyrannical capture of every aspect of the machinery of government is the increasingly partisan behaviour of the RCMP. The Force has been used against
Harper’s political enemies, often without a shred of real misconduct on the table.
Helena Guergis was harassed for three months by a seven-member team of Mounties who found absolutely no truth to the criminal (and defamatory) allegations laid out in a letter written for the PM by Novak to the Commissioner of the RCMP.
The Force has never explained why that investigation got off the ground when all of the allegations were not only spurious but originated with highly dubious sources. In fact, Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson directly called the source of the allegations against Guergis and decided on the spot there was no grounds for an investigation.
Bill Casey, the former Conservative MP and now Liberal candidate was thrown out of caucus because he would not agree to changes in the Atlantic Accord made unilaterally by the Harper government. Casey wasn’t just being grumpy. He had consulted with officials in the department of justice and they provided him with written opinions that the agreement had in fact been altered.
In a personal meeting with Casey, Harper dismissed the legal opinions with the view that the words meant what he, the PM, said they meant. Either Casey voted for the budget or he was out. When Casey chose to run as an Independent, he was faced with an RCMP investigation alleging that he had stolen funds from his former Electoral District Association.
As with Guergis, it was an entirely baseless accusation. But neither the government nor the RCMP showed the slightest remorse, even though Casey the victorious Independent MP raised the matter in the House of Commons and demanded an apology. He is still waiting for it.
And, recently, we discovered that the Mounties had shredded documents from the gun registry, even though the Information Commissioner was conducting an active investigation which required access to those documents. The government's most recent omnibus budget bill contained a clause absolving the Mounties from any illegal activity.
If the national police force is the servant of the prime minister and not the servant of the people, we are in deep, deep trouble.