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Civil Liberties Association Calls on RCMP to Answer for Disclosure of Income Trust Investigation

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When the RCMP made a mid-election announcement that it was conducting a criminal investigation of a government Ministry in relation to income trusts, it launched a political football. This action was seen to have significantly influenced the course of the last federal election. Today the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association lodged an official complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, requiring an investigation into whether this disclosure by the RCMP was an attempt to influence partisan politics or was reckless about the foreseeable consequences of such a disclosure.

Jason Gratl, President of the BCCLA: “We have spent months in informal discussions with the RCMP seeking an explanation for the disclosure. The RCMP have failed to persuade us that the disclosure was made in accordance with their own internal policy.”

The RCMP first disclosed that it was conducting a criminal investigation to Judy Wasylycia-Leis, a member of an Opposition party who was the complainant in the matter. The RCMP also issued a press release on December 28, 2005 announcing the criminal investigation.

Gratl: “What we’re dealing with is the explosive notion that our national police force may deliberately or recklessly have influenced the course of a federal election. Police meddling in an election is poison to a democracy.”