BCCLA Calls for Rules to Prevent RCMP Influence in Elections

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The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is urging Paul Kennedy, Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to recommend to the RCMP and Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day rules to ensure that the RCMP does not inappropriately influence elections.

The BCCLA is recommending that the RCMP must not disclose the existence of a criminal investigation unless:
(a) the disclosure is necessary to protect an imminent and overriding threat to public safety;
(b) the disclosure is necessary to advance the investigation, provided all reasonable alternative investigative methods have been attempted, or
(c) a charge is approved by prosecutors.

According to BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “As in the investigation into income trust leaks, the RCMP occasionally appear ready to wade into partisan waters. The RCMP needs bright line rules to keep them out of the political arena.”

The BCCLA’s recommendation is a result of complaints it has made about the RCMP’s conduct in releasing information about a criminal investigation into allegations of leaked information about government plans to change income trust taxation rules during the last federal election.

The BCCLA’s complaints led to a complaint by Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy is now considering an investigation report by the RCMP – a report the BCCLA is urging Mr. Kennedy to release publicly. After consideration of this report, Mr. Kennedy will send an interim report to the RCMP and Stockwell Day.