Of course the Tories are resisting any new inquiries. Arar was bad enough and now the Iacobucci inquiry may also reveal shortcomings in the intelligence community. Air India and the pension scandal has not helped. Of course the RCMP was involved in the sponsorship scandal as well when Zaccardelli was at the helm.
People must be naive who claim that the mounties can just come forth to their superiors etc. with their complaints. You can imagine some poor mountie protesting transfers as punishment finding himself banished to the hinterlands--perhaps rural Manitoba where I am ;-) Maybe they banish them to high crime areas in cities!
RCMP facing new list of scandals
At least six Mounties want to testify against the force
OTTAWA (May 29, 2007)
The RCMP is about to be struck with a new wave of allegations of wrongdoing, including a coverup of government corruption and criminal acts by senior members of the national police force.
At least six, and as many as 12 current and former Mounties are anxious to come forward with allegations against the force never before made public, the Toronto Star has learned.
They want to be subpoenaed by a House of Commons committee to give them some legal and job protection and if called, will testify about:
"Subversion of an investigation into corruption and nepotism'' in purchasing and contracting practices, and "the falsification of signatures to pay out money, on the part of government officials" in the New Brunswick government.
Allegations that superior officers committed criminal acts against other RCMP members, including electronic surveillance and alteration of documents "to achieve improper goals."
Misuse and misdirection of public policing funds to fund the vendettas of managers against targeted members.
The deliberate cover-up of evidence against a former RCMP officer Staff Sgt. Clifford McCann and others implicated in the abuse of young boys at the now-defunct Kingsclear Youth Training Centre in New Brunswick. This is also the subject of an investigation by the RCMP's civilian complaints body that has been dragging on for nearly two years.
Interference by superior officers in the political campaigns of RCMP members who sought election to government, including "spying on constituency meetings."
Harassment of RCMP members based on their sexual orientation.
Regular use of punitive transfers by RCMP management.
Psychological "warfare" by certain superior officers against lower-ranking members.
The allegations are contained in a letter from Toronto lawyer William Gilmour, himself a former Mountie, to an unnamed Conservative MP. The Toronto Star obtained a copy of the letter.
It comes at a time when the RCMP is already in a state of turmoil. It has been without a permanent commissioner since Giuliano Zaccardelli resigned last December after conflicting testimony to a Commons committee over the story of Maher Arar, who was deported to Syria and tortured there.
And the Commons public accounts committee has been holding hearings since Feb. 21, including testimony from senior Mounties, into allegations that money in the RCMP pension fund was misused. Stockwell Day, the minister in charge of the RCMP, last month named lawyer David Browne to investigate the pension abuses.
The force is also under scrutiny in two other judge-led inquiries -- the Air India probe by John Major, and Frank Iacobucci's review of the cases of three Muslim Canadians who ended up tortured in Syrian or Egyptian jails.
The new round of would-be whistleblowers includes Mounties whose concerns have never been made public before. All are or were regular uniformed members, including two commissioned officers (of inspector rank or higher).
"My clients are of the view that a public inquiry is required to delve into all of the things that presently plague the morale of the men and women serving our national police service," Gilmour wrote.
While most of them do not yet want to be identified, the Toronto Star has learned that one of them seeking to bring forward new evidence is Const. Peter Merrifield of the RCMP's Toronto North detachment.
Merrifield's predicament drew brief public attention after his unsuccessful bid to run for the federal Conservative nomination in Barrie in 2004 cost him a plum counter-terrorism job as part of the elite threat-assessment unit.
Merrifield now works in the force's customs unit. He is a supporter of a move within the RCMP to unionize rank-and-file members.
He, like the others, was unwilling to speak to a reporter about the problems he's witnessed, citing the RCMP Act and the force's ability to press internal Code of Conduct charges against members who speak out. But he is willing to volunteer testimony if summoned by a committee.
So far Day, the minister in charge of the RCMP, has resisted calls for a broader public inquiry into the RCMP, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper intends to name a new RCMP commissioner in June, and the government awaits recommendations from Browne, former head of the Ontario Securities Commission, on the RCMP pension abuses, due June 15.
The Conservative government named Browne to conduct an independent investigation of the alleged cover-up of pension fund abuses that a group of Mounties say was "orchestrated" by former commissioner Zaccardelli and other senior officers.
Zaccardelli's interim replacement Bev Busson has, as recently as three weeks ago, urged any RCMP officers with complaints, past and present, to bring them forward to the internal ethics adviser.
Clearly, her assurances failed to allay the concerns of many.
The RCMP members who have new disturbing tales to tell are located in all regions across Canada, Gilmour says.
All have already sought unsuccessfully to resolve their various concerns through the RCMP's internal complaint mechanisms, a system Gilmour described in an interview as "broken."
"It doesn't work," he said.
His clients believe "a public inquiry" is needed, but Gilmour is not personally persuaded that it is the only way to resolve the current issues. He says the appointment of a new commissioner with a determination to deal with issues "and change the culture" could clean things up.
Gilmour believes that his clients, by coming forward, will either initiate a public inquiry, or serious efforts by the government and the RCMP to deal with the problems.
There is no standing parliamentary committee whose job it is to review the RCMP. Issues related to the force are brought forward on an ad-hoc basis. The public accounts committee is continuing its examination tomorrow of how the pension and insurance funds were misspent. Today, it will question the interim commissioner on the backlog in its DNA forensic analysis labs. It was the public safety committee that examined the RCMP's response to the Arar inquiry last fall.
So far, six Mounties are willing to come forward immediately, says Gilmour. Another six are waiting to see what response the government gives.