Conservatives (CPC)

Not so free speech

Piper Super Cub threatens Otawa

Labour Day weekend, RCMP arrested the pilot of a Piper Supercub flying near the Gatineau Quebec Hot Air Balloon Festival. Not because Gian Piero Ciambella was in restricted airspace or violating laws of aviation. RCMP grounded him for displaying a banner they construed as hate speech.

The malicious and malevolent message was:


That translates as “Stephen Harper hates us.” Its sponsor was Public Service Alliance of Canada, Quebec Region.

In the disingenuous style now common for a police service compromised by partisan politics, RCMP denied interfering with the Aerogram pilot. They initially blamed air traffic control provider NAV Canada, a private company, but later said they acted out of fear the humble plodder posed a threat to Parliament Hill. Now that’s a statement to please admirers of ancient tail draggers first constructed in the 1940’s.

Another RCMP story has attention of the BC Civil Liberties Association. During a raid in August, six officers executing a search warrant in a criminal case of defamatory libel, seized electronic devices from a blogger. That person had raised claims of police corruption and may have provided information about an RCMP officer accused of engaging in controversial conduct on a sexually explicit website.

Readers might recall that blogger Alex Tsakumis has written about clear and implied threats to him by RCMP officers concerned about his disclosures related to political corruption associated with the sale of BC Rail.

RCMP Watch is a site with media links to stories about Canada’s still troubled police force. The republished items are accompanied by rational, if not objective, discussions involving people inside and outside police services. I sense that while regulars ache to support and defend rank and file officers, they wish the management level deserved wholehearted respect as well.

Here’s part of one reader comment after the Gatineau banner flyer was grounded and after RCMP commanded on-duty “volunteers” to serve as a colour guard at Commissioner Paulson’s wedding:

“We outright lied, and when we were caught in that lie, we lied again to attempt to cover our last lie. And not until we were pressed for the truth, did we finally offer some truth.”

Toronto Sun Parliamentary bureau chief David Akin, commenting about years of dysfunctional police leadership, wrote RCMP still searching for leaders of ‘impeccable ethics’ :

“One would think, after more than a decade of this, the current generation of top RCMP leaders would make it their top priority to have themselves described as “officers of impeccable and irreproachable ethics.” Can’t do that yet for too many of them.”

Categories: Conservatives (CPC), RCMP

3 replies »

  1. “We outright lied…” sounds like it's an RCMP spokesperson talking (which would be hugely refreshing) — but it's apparently David Akin of the Toronto Sun.

    Not having the entire article to see if the context fits, it would seem more accurate to say “They outright lied…”


  2. Not David Akin. That “We outright lied…” statement is from a comment at RCMP watch submitted by someone called “Monty Hall” to RCMP accused of grounding plane critical of Harper ‘for political reasons’.

    This was the entire comment:

    “Simple embarrassing. How and why should the public support us in the RCMP, when we lack any amount of credibility. We are so used to lying and being deceptive to the Canadian public, we think it is the norm. Just look at the last two most recent fiascos, both of which were in Ottawa. We outright lied, and when we were caught in that lie, we lied again to attempt to cover our last lie. And not until we were pressed for the truth, did we finally offer some truth. The guys in Ottawa need to get together before they come out with their stories, just like they did at the Vancouver Airport. Oh ya, they didn’t get away with their lies either. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing in our organization.

    “Accountability starts at the top. We have a long ways to go before we should ask the Canadian public for their trust. We need to earn back Canadians trust.”


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