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From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Latest comment posted at 8:37 PM EDT 06/06/07

RCMP using witness protection law to avoid wrongful death lawsuit, Commons committee hears ...Read the full article

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  1. The Centrist from Canada writes: Another day, another file botched by the Harper Conservative government.
  2. Andre Carrel from Salmo, Canada writes: So much for the argument that judges are too lenient, and that police need more powers!
  3. join the gas-station boycott on fridays! from Canada writes: try him for the new crime. if you have to blow his new identity to do it, do it. they can always give him yet another identity should it be necessary afterwards. but really, if they make a deal, get witness protection, and then violate their end of the deal by breaking laws again, phuck em! let em hang!
  4. colin broughton from Edmonton, Canada writes: The RCMP simply can not be trusted. While the public is naturally supportive of law enforcement efforts, there is also a bureaucratic side to the RCMP that is utterly self-serving. We can be sure that either the politicians will lack the guts to do the right thing, or they will use what dirt they have on the RCMP to bend the system their way. Such is the politics of expediency! Let us hope that the courts can set this one straight. No one else will.
  5. p m from vancouver, Canada writes: It's time Canada had a PROFESSIONAL police force instead of those Dinasours who are running it with their GRADE 10 education (the requirement 30 years ago)

    Just another example in the litany of events and overt attitudes that they display...You'd think (or maybe they think?) they were the KGB!
  6. The Iconoclast from Canada writes: Time to clean house. The RCMP has become a national disgrace.
  7. Stude Ham from Outremont, Canada writes:

    perhaps if the rcmp had not meddled in a national election and as a result brought down the ruling government, it would not be in as much trouble with the image makers as it is now experiencing.

    rcmp bashing has become the favourite national pastime... from arar... to air india... to the pensions... to this one particular case and so on...

    even the 'new guvmint' is getting into this game.... leading one to suspect that perhaps... just perhaps... the rcmp is on to some goods that could be highly damaging to the 'new guvmint'. simply cuz the 'new guvmint' was made possible by rcmp interference in the previous national election.
  8. Anthony B from Sydney, NS, Canada writes: "The RCMP has said it's illegal for anyone to tell the committee, or even Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, the full story"

    What kind of a country do we live in, when our national police force can shield criminals and withhold information a minister of the Crown? We need to take a serious look at police powers and public accountability, and reform the RCMP into an agency that puts ordinary, law-abiding citizens first.
  9. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Minister Day had promised that a new commissioner would be appointed in June. Is he waiting for the summer recess to make his announcement? Who are the candidates?
  10. Black Adder from Toronto, Canada writes: And Harper wants to give the police more say in selecting judges...
  11. andrew macmillan from Amherst,NS, Canada writes: I sure hope that this body of evidence for changing the way the RCMP run their operations really adds up to something. It is disappointing to read week after week that the RCMP can't be trusted, don't act with the best interest of the country or even there own rank and file. That the Commissioner steps forward saying the RCMP have fine officer who can preform the duties of leadership," they just don't haved to because no one can really make them, once they become Commissioner." The RCMP is a powerful group and reforming themselves is going to take power away from themselves, that not going to happen. Cops become corrupt because it is what they are exposed to, whether it is the criminal element or the blue line.
  12. gord winters from Canada writes: does anyone inthe3 rcmp care that they have lost the confidence of the public? i see no evidence that they care for the public inthe least. we appear to be the enemy in their eyes.

    they certainly have forgotten whom they work for.
  13. Dark Green from Defiant Island, Cuba writes: Such a courageous lot, there, to serve and to protect!
  14. garlick toast from mill village, Canada writes: so this is how harper's "tough on crime"strategy plays out,the mounties have placed themselves above the law and beyond the reach of stocky day.clearly,the hiring process precludes quality candidates from joining the ranks.the mentality is more suitable for a hockey team than a national police force.pity the frontline officers,most of whom must be embarrassed about their"superiors".
  15. David N from Toronto, Canada writes: It is about time to start serious talk about shutting down the RCMP and replacing it with a more professional, accountable law enforcement agency. This time around we must not make the same mistake we did when CSIS was created, namely - we shouldn't staff it with former RCMP officers!
  16. Andrew S. from Toronto, Canada writes: The RCMP is a national disgrace. Can't we get through one single week without a RCMP scandal? Why aren't heads rolling? Why aren't RCMP officers being charged with crimes? Is Harpo asleed at the switch or is he complicit?
  17. Cymro yn byw yma Canada from Canada writes: Obviously if the relatives of the victim of this so-called "agent" learn of his identity and the details of the crime they would sue the RCMP and its commissioner. If I were commissioner I wouldn't want any information to leak but as a citizen I believe that this matter must be cleared up and a neutral body oversee the witness protecion program. Go for it Mr Comartin. There are so many problems with the RCMP that we have to start with a clean slate. For a start all recruiting should be in the hands of a civilian body.
  18. Allan Eizinas from Simcoe, Canada writes: .
    What an unfortunate turn of events. Our beloved RCMP takes another hit. The strength of the unit appears to also be its weakness. This was a tightly knit, hard disciplined, secretly exclusive organization that prided itself on its high standards and autonomy. There was little to no civilian oversight. They "killed their own snakes".

    The lid was screwed on tight and woe the individual who did not march lock-step with the upper brass.

    Well, the lid has popped off and a new snake seems to slither out every week.

    It is obviously time for an upper echelon housecleaning, appointment of a new Commissioner from outside and the establishment of an impartial civilian oversight committee.

    Stop the bleeding.
  19. Al , from Maritimes, Canada writes: Don't throw out the baby with the dishwater. Things that fell into disrepair during the long Liberal tenure are finally being cleaned up. The whole list of RCMP failings didn't just happen during the past year of Conservative reign.
  20. Darrell Hubert from Calgary, Canada writes: This con artist turned murderer should never have been in the witness protection program. In a number of critics I have read about the Canadian witness protection prgram, the critics called the results extremely poor as nobody believes the turncoat criminal on the stand, the judge in this case called his evidence a cruel charade. One critc, whom I completely agree with, called the reliance on these lying truncoats (usually semi-illiterate ex-bikers ) the LAZYEST form of policing ever, whereby sometimes the worst of the bunch are given immunity to pretend that their misdeeds were done by others. Wintness protection should be for witnesses who did not participate in crime, not scum bags, the laws should be changed.
  21. James Kennedy from Saint John, Canada writes: The simple solution here is to try this fellow in open court. If he is guilty, put him in jail. If he is innocent, give him a new fake identity. That is the only real way to stop such abuse, which is the real way to ensure the integrity of the witness protection program when you think about it. If that is against the law, change the law. As it stands it makes me even more curious about what sort of criminal activities the RCMP is involved in. What the heck is going on in this country?
  22. James Kennedy from Saint John, Canada writes: Makes you wonder how many sickos are protected in this country because they are part of the establishment themselves, or know about other sickos that are part of the establishment. Just how sick do crimes have to get before people are willing to blow the doors wide open. It seems the sicker things get, the tighter the doors are shut. This country has a long history of protecting people that are part of the establishment. Why? What is it about the establishment? Can you not join unless you are a sicko yourself, or is it sufficient to be able to turn the other way?
  23. Randy D from Canada writes: Admittedly the Conservatives aren't responsible for the tremendous slide in the character of the RCMP but they are now charged with dealing with it. We need a complete cleanup of this organization perhaps involving creating separate layers of policing organizations who truly keep and eye on one another rather than merely being members of the 'good ol' boys club' and keeping a few RCMP to drag out for politician photo ops for the people around the world who aren't aware of the decay. The Conservatives have already been dubbed the most anti-business government since Trudeau, let's see what they do here.
  24. M. Thought from Calgary, Canada writes: Al , from Maritimes, Canada writes: Don't throw out the baby with the dishwater. Things that fell into disrepair during the long Liberal tenure are finally being cleaned up. The whole list of RCMP failings didn't just happen during the past year of Conservative reign.
    I was waiting to see someone blame the Liberals. This has been going on through ALL governments. Harper is not cleaning up anything. Look what he made his his first priority when he was sworn in as PM - the RCMP and the Military. What do dictators control? Perhaps the Libs were not far off when they said Canadians may not like a Harper's Canada!!
  25. otmar zambo from Canada writes: Do you trust the RCMP? It is alegged that the RCMP in Alberta blew up a shed in order to frame one Mr. Wiebo Ludwig for something he did not do! They were caught red handed at it. does anyone else think that we should get rid of that outfit lock, stock, and barrel?
  26. Mike Bellows from Canada writes: Don't forget that this is a ploy by the very highly paid defence team. Look at both sides and let's not be too gullible here.
  27. garlick toast from mill village, Canada writes: let's see both sides,whoops one side seems to be hidden.obscured,beyond the law.but look help is on the it a bird?sort it a plane,not''s.. it's stocky day in a wetsuit riding a seadoo.
  28. john brett from Canada writes: Ok, This guy kills someone... was he put on trial for murder? Was he convicted? If he was tried, Is he in Jail now (but under his new name)? If so what is the big deal?
    Is it that some lawyer wants to sue and make some money! Not like a lawyer to act in self interest, Just out there trying to do some good!
    If the guy was in witness protection (meaning he has a new name and a new place to live), how is it anyone's fault but his own if he commits murder?
  29. Give Harper a raise and pay down the debt with the money saved on MP salaries from Canada writes: Please google " Stephan Harper quotes . The RCMP are rank amateurs at hiding in plain sight as compared to wonder boy stevie .
  30. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: Let's give the RCMP and CSIS even more power, with significantly fewer restraints and even less oversight than they aree currently subject to. There's a plan. What we really need is a complete overhaul of the Witness Protection Programme, and the same thing for the RCMP and CSIS. With proper and real civillian oversight as well. This is just one more chapter in the joke that is our security agencies. Note that CSIS was created under Clark and Mulroney. The Air India fiasco happened on Mulroney's watch. Chretien did his best to cover up the mess, and Martin was too busy with the Gomery stuff. So now we have "tough on crime" Harper at the helm. Funny how reluctant these criminal-hating CPCers and their supporters are to apply the law to the police. Why is that? Or does the law only apply to certain groups and classes? It never fails to amuse me - bleakly - to observe how extremely selective the right wing is when it comes time to actually apply and enforce the law.
  31. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: @ john brett: you just love those red herrings and obfuscation. Not to mention a reflexively rabid attack on anyone who questions any aspect of police performance, behaviour and attitude towards "civillians". Why is that John? As has been noted in earlier articles related to this story, Canada's Witness Protection Programme is essentially a black hole once a "witness" gets into it. There is, effectively, no review or oversight by any external, civillian authorities. What this case, in particular, proves, is that the programme essentially provides a blank, signed cheque to anyone in it. Now, most of the individuals in the programme have actually held up their end of the deal. But not in this case. Witness protection is a necessity. But not even the Bush administration has seen fit to tamper with the safeguards in the US programme, that enable the authorities to charge someone who commits a crime while under protection. And the US programme has superior oversight. In stark contrast to ours. What we have here is a truly monstrous failure by the RCMP. And now we are getting a major CYA campaign. In some ways, this is far worse than the Ian Bush and Kevin St. Arnaud incidents in BC. What is clearly indicated is a desperate need for truly effective and strong civillian oversight and control of all security agencies. Police have a difficult, dangerous and nasty job to do. But, given the extraordinary powers and authority they are given, external civilian control is an absolute requirement. Especially in light of numerous and well-documented cases of police abuse of authority, criminal behaviour and other, similar, problems. Or are you suggesting that the police are above the law, and that there is no need to supervise police performance and behaviour?

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