Recent events show an excessive amount of political interference from the Conservative party, none more obvious than the internal economy committee's decision to sanitize an audit on senator's expense claims. The interference mounts as Harper's former chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote a secret $90,172 cheque for disgraced senator Mike Duffy under an unknown set of legal conditions while the audit was taking place. The interference continues as Conservative senators opt to internalize the scandal and Conservative MPs choose to attempt to distract peoples' attention from the scandal at hand.
The concerns arose after a 2011 decision to mandate Vic Toews with oversight of the RCMP.
Former RCMP superintendent Gery Clement said the amount of control the government has over the independent body is concerning.
"Having been at the RCMP for 30 years, and when I was, I was in the national capital region for the better part of 18 years dealing with all levels of investigations, yeah, I would suggest I don't think I've seen — at least since my relationship with the RCMP started — I don't think I've ever seen the type of control that's been placed on the RCMP, which is a little bit disconcerting from a former member," said Clement.
Sgt. Greg Cox, a spokesman for the RCMP, also defended its independence in investigations.
"The RCMP has full independence with regards to the investigations it carries out, and how it conducts them within the authorities it has under the RCMP Act and the Criminal Code, as well as other Federal statutes," he said in an email that, under current policy, would have been approved by Toews' office.
"Every member of the RCMP is sworn to uphold the laws of Canada."
“Essentially what happens, especially if it’s MPs from my party, they’ll come to me and say, ‘Look I want to talk to the RCMP,’ and I’ll refer them to an individual and that’s the end of it,” he said.
It appears that every corner we turn, we find political interference. A Conservative majority in the senate chose to keep its investigations internal so the internal economics committee could sanitize an audit on senators' expense claims. With the opposition calling for an RCMP investigation, we find it is now controlled by Vic Toews's office. What implications will this control have over future investigations? Do you believe the RCMP can still investigate independently with Toews's oversight? Share this article and join the discussion and let us know what you think: Facebook, Twitter, Google+.