Federal government has no business micromanaging RCMP commissioner, Toronto Star, January 22 2012
“Where does Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government get off trying to micromanage the Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner’s day-timer?
“Newly-installed Commissioner Bob Paulson has just been told that he can’t meet with Members of Parliament or senators without getting a green light from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ office. In their hubris, the Tories have decided that they alone will book the chief’s get-togethers with parliamentarians.
“This follows hard on Harper’s demand that the Mounties check with Toews’ office before making any public statements that might “garner national media attention,” as the Star reported last year. To some, that looked like a gag option…”
Muzzling of RCMP commissioner shows that control is out of control, Sen. Colin Kenny, Montreal Gazette:
“…All governments, however, are at times tempted to circumvent democratic principles when those principles threaten their own grip on power. The Harper government, as many have noted before me, has succumbed to such temptation with unprecedented passion.
“The result is that control is out of control, as it were. Ministers are scripted; committees are neutered; debate is cut off; public servants are muzzled; laws and court edicts are ignored; official watchdogs are fired; bills are adulterated with agendafilling provisions unconnected to their rationale; opposition amendments are dismissed out of hand; provincial premiers are avoided; and the prime minister’s communications-control team grows at a steroidal pace in an era of fiscal restraint.
“…The commissioner of the RCMP has always been a very powerful position, held at arm’s length from government. The reasons are obvious. If a member of a government is alleged to have broken the law, the Mounties are the people called in to investigate. Although funded by the government, the RC-MP cannot become the instrument of government…”
Categories: Harper Government