Monday, August 24, 2015
Michael Harris: Have the Mounties Become Harper's Private Police?
A few days ago I wrote a post where I wondered why the RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has so far failed to explain the reason his investigators decided not to charge Nigel Wright for his role in the Duffy scandal.
Even though he promised to do that more than a year ago.
Now Michael Harris goes a step further and wonders whether the Mounties have become Harper's private police force.
Are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police turning into Dudley DoWrong?
Banish the thought, but have they become the Royal Canadian Harper Police?
And I'm glad Harris asks that question, I wish more people would. Because Paulson's silence strikes at the heart of our legal system and our democracy.
And we do need to know why Wright was not charged with bribery, like Duffy was. When he was the one who paid the bribe.
We do need to know why that Bay Street millionaire and religious fanatic was absolved on the grounds that there was no criminal intent, or so-called mens rea.
In this case, there was certainly premeditation, planning, preparation and provision. Wright and assorted PMO minions spent a lot of time thinking about what to do in order to prevent something that they didn’t want to happen — the Duffy expense and residency matter to become a worse political liability than it already was. So they were willing to interfere in a forensic audit and manipulate the content of a Senate report as part of the deal with Duffy. And oh yes, to pay off the senator too. There is no question that they acted on their premeditation.
But in Wright’s case, mens rea was not assumed despite the actions he took. Instead, it was treated as a separate element in relation to his stated intentions rather than his documented acts. He did the deed, but he had no criminal intent. Ergo, the authorities dropped the investigation into Wright, and laid no charge. Duffy, meanwhile, was buried under a ton of legal bricks
Even though the RCMP's lead investigator Corporal Greg Horton once stated he had reasonable grounds to believe that Wright had committed a criminal offence.
Nigel Wright between February 6, 2013, and March 28, 2013, at Ottawa, Ontario did directly or indirectly corruptly give or offer to a member of Parliament for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, or office in respect of anything done or omitted, or to be done or omitted by him in his official capacity contrary to section 119(l)(b) of the Criminal Code.
We do need to have Paulson explain why the RCMP chose to conduct the case as a violation of the criminal code, rather than as a violation of Section 16 of the Parliament of Canada Act.
That statute makes it an indictable offence to give a senator compensation for a service rendered “in relation to any bill, proceeding contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest or other matter before the Senate.”
Which would almost certainly have led to charges against Wright and other members of his PMO gang who were at the heart of the Duffy cover-up.
We do need to know who made that decision; the police, the justice department, or the PMO plumbers? For obvious reasons.
But the main reason Paulson needs to break his long silence is this one:
His refusal to answer so many disturbing questions can only strengthen the growing belief that like so many other government departments, the RCMP has also been politicized.
The hallmark of the Harper era has been an attempt by the government to take ownership of all federal human assets in a degrading and political way. Civil servants have been used as props in fake TV news items. The justice department has drafted a string of unconstitutional legislation reflecting the CPC’s ideological agenda. Federal scientists have been muzzled like unruly dogs.
But one of the most disturbing elements of this tyrannical capture of every aspect of the machinery of government is the increasingly partisan behaviour of the RCMP. The Force has been used against Harper’s political enemies, often without a shred of real misconduct on the table.
That it indeed is the Royal Canadian Harper Police...
And no democracy can properly exist, or long survive, with a threat like that one hanging over its head.
You know, I'd like to think that the RCMP would do the Dudley DoRight thing and re-open the case.
But the truth is that we will not be safe until the source of the corruption is removed.
And the monstrous Stephen Harper and his sinister Cons are defeated.
Before they turn us into a police state...
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