Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The RCMP ... and the Long, Long Reach of the BC Rail Scandal
By Robin Mathews
February 9, 2011
William Elliott, Commissioner of the RCMP, is – we are told – “stepping down” next summer. Why so long a wait? Why not now? The RCMP couldn’t be worse mismanaged than at present. Could it be that the Harper Right expects an election in Spring and may need Elliott in position then? And is Harper keeping him on… for tasks he may be called upon to undertake in an election?
We have to begin by underscoring the political nature of his appointment. The ‘first civilian’ head of the RCMP, Elliott was appointed out of Stockwell Day’s department, and is known as a Harper actor. He knew – as he has proved – almost nothing about the job of RCMP Commissioner. He had the kind of qualifications Stephen Harper looks for.
Try to think of something Elliott did that was good in his four year’s as head? Remember. He phoned the officers implicated in the death of Robert Dziekanski – at a critical moment – and sympathized with THEM, to the delight of Gary Bass, B.C.’s top RCMP officer!
Unbelieveable, and true. Just as Bass and Gordon Campbell, B.C. premier, chatted informally in the same vein about the Dziekanski death.
Robert Dziekanski? His shattered mother? We know how the RCMP reacted to them. After years of evidence growing about the RCMP’s disastrous behaviour in the Robert Dziekanski case, Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass finally made a public apology to Dziekanski’s mother.
And then he went back to his office and emailed members of the Force to tell them he had not really apologized.
Gary Bass has just been promoted.
When Constable Paul Koester shot 22 year old Ian Bush in the back of the head in the Houston, B.C. police station on October 29, 2005, terrible questions erupted that have never been put to rest. So many damning allegations have been made they can’t all be written here.
But that didn’t deter Paul Kennedy of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. He found everything spendidly in order – though across the province of B.C. almost no one believed a thing the RCMP said (or claimed it did).
Until he was informed his job would not be renewed, Paul Kennedy acted, almost consistently – as above. Even so, William Elliott disagreed with recommendations Kennedy made in his Report on Ian Bush. Elliott would not accept that there is a problem with the public’s perception of the RCMP!
In 2006 when the illustrious and disgraced Guiliano Zaccardelli was still Commissioner, it is alleged he stepped into the 2006 federal election campaign – mid-election – to ask that the name of the Liberal House Leader and Finance Minister Ralph Goodale be added to the announcement that an RCMP investigation was being conducted into reports of leaks over Liberal tax intentions concerning Income Trusts.
To her shame, NDP MP Wasylycia Leis, joined what I believe was the Harper sleaze and asked for Goodale’s resignation. Zaccardelli’s shameless interference with a federal election is said to have assisted the Harper group to win that election, and the RCMP even admitted that to do what it had just done “was not in keeping with past practice”.
Stephen Harper never lets past democratic practice impede his reach for personal power … nor did Guiliano Zaccardelli. Will (in a Spring election) William Elliott?
Paul Kennedy’s Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP declared the RCMP had done nothing wrong in the Ralph Goodale affair. But the declaration was normal behaviour for the Commission … to approve of bad behaviour by the RCMP. That, alas, has been its role, historically.
I am suggesting that the present RCMP is corrupt at its upper levels and that its corruption is supported –
at the very least - by the Stephen Harper Right … and its friends. I have written (above) to show the interlinking of present reactionary politicians and top RCMP officials: Stephen Harper, Stockwell Day, William Elliott, Gary Bass, Gordon Campbell, Paul Kennedy….
Not nearly enough has been made of the allegations, for instance, of RCMP corruption, flawed investigation, targetting of the later accused, and failure to investigate top Gordon Campbell political agents and private corporate friends in the matters of the BC Rail Scandal.
What did B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass and, before him, Deputy Commissioner Beverley Busson have to do with the conduct of the BC Rail Scandal investigations? That question has never been asked in any satisfactory way, let alone answered.
Defence lawyers claimed persistently over four years of pre-trial and trial that the BC Rail Scandal investigations were unacceptable, that RCMP chief of investigations Kevin deBruyckere is brother-in-law of Kelly Reichert, long-time Executive Director of the B.C. Liberal Party. Defence alleged that the two almost certainly discussed confidential matters about the investigations, and that Reichert was frequently in conversation with Gordon Campbell.
Did B.C. Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass know of those allegations? And did he – as in the Robert Dziekanski case – close his eyes and protect the highly suspicious actions of underlings … again? And if he did, why did he? At whose instigation?
All through the Basi, Virk, and Basi pre-trial years, Defence counsel complained of RCMP delay in the delivery of material ordered disclosed by the Court. Defence declared that the Crown (the Special Prosecutor) added to the delay and the inadequate presentation of disclosure materials. Defence cries of protest at delay and inadequate reporting echoed and echoed through the Court.
And then the Special Prosecutor William Berardino was discovered to have been appointed in violation of the legislation covering the appointment process. B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass should have shown interest in the discovery – because it is the Special Prosecutor who moves from evidence gathered by RCMP to charges laid.
Indeed, in a term as long as the one occupied by William Berardino, it is not unnatural to suppose the Special Prosecutor might even be consulted about investigative directions. If Mr. Berardino was improperly appointed, Gary Bass should have shown instant interest in the matter.
No evidence exists that RCMP Deputy Comissioner Gary Bass paid the slightest attention to the revelation of Mr. Berardino’s improper appointment.
On the day of the Search Warrant ‘raids’ on offices of the B.C. Legislature (Dec. 28, 2003), Gordon Campbell’s Chief of Staff Martyn Brown spoke to Gary Bass on the telephone. We don’t know what we should about RCMP preparations for the ‘raids’ and exactly who worked on ‘the inside’ with the police. Were politicians - involved in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR - working with the RCMP? If the cabinet was – as has been alleged – acting in breach of trust in the BC Rail matter, then any cabinet member assisting the RCMP has to be under suspicion.
Over the last years a strange pattern has emerged in the RCMP. People working openly and publicly for change and for integrity in the force have been side-lined. After the Parliamentary Committee heard from RCMP officers about the mismanagement of Guiliano Zaccardelli, Canadians waited to see some of those courageous officers promoted … given greater authority.
They disappeared from view.
As Paul Kennedy has remarked there has been an “exodus” of senior managers during Mr. Elliott’s tenure. Mike McConnell, an officer of highest repute and a critic of Elliott, left in 2010 to join the OPP. Deputy Commissioner Raf Souccar – another respected top officer – was “sidelined’ by Elliott. One might say that between Stephen Harper and William Elliott, excellence has been peeled away from the RCMP. The question is why?
When I wrote formally to B.C. Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass and asked for criminal investigation of Gordon Campbell and his associates in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR – Gary Bass refused to act. As I have said, he has recently been promoted.
As has R.R. Knecht who was Deputy Commissioner of the North West – out of Edmonton. He is now No. 2 in Ottawa. Has he been set up to take over from Elliott as part of a plan of much longer duration than seems the case on the surface? He is listed in the press as a possible replacement for Elliott.
From my experience with R. R. Knecht, I have to report I consider him corrupt. If he is, then he may be just what Stephen Harper wants as head man at the RCMP.
I wrote asking for an investigation of corrupt RCMP practices in the province of Alberta concerning the dental malpractice case of Kelly Marie Richard (which ran through brutal misuse of law and the courts, I allege, from about 2002 to 2009).
In short, Ms. Richard has unquestionable scientific evidence of malpractice. Her opponents, who I allege were the insurer, the insurer’s litigator, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, and the RCMP – worked together, I allege, to prevent her simple, straightforward, scientific evidence from ever being examined in Court.
In the course of her search for reasonable justice, Ms. Richard was impoverished, viciously harassed, and denied access to the treatment she desperately needed – and she was turned from someone appealing for justice into a victim beset by almost every dirty trick her powerful torturers could visit upon her.
Malpractice insurer was ING. Litigater for the insurer was CGI, an information technology corporation taking on widely divergent activities.
I think it is fair to say (as I allege) that CGI (through its employed lawyers) did everything it could to prevent the case from coming fairly to court. Ms. Richard alleges that CGI entered her confidential Government of Alberta health records (a system set up by CGI) and changed the facts there to destroy her case. She went, she thought, confidentially to the RCMP to report the crime.
Within 48 hours the lawyers opposing her case had the information from the RCMP, and tried to have her named mentally incapable in the Court. A note to her (which I have examined) from an RCMP sergeant falsely reported to her that the alleged action of CGI would be a civil, not a criminal, offense (and so of no interest to the RCMP). She alleges she was harassed and threatened by RCMP officers … and more.
The whole story of Ms. Richard and her sons’ ordeal is one of continuing psychologically brutal and vicious treatment. It needs, still, (and I have asked the Minister of Justice Canada and the Attorney General of Alberta for) a full public inquiry (which both have refused).
I asked for an investigation of RCMP behaviour. R.R. Knecht, RCMP Deputy Commissioner for the North West, wrote to me that an investigation was underway. A corporal in Lethbridge, undertaking the investigation, telephoned me – only interested in the quality of my relation with Kelly Marie Richard who I have never met.
I asked Corporal Kelly Bieleit if he was going to interview the principal in the matter: Kelly Marie Richard? He never did. That signals the nature of the investigation.
The investigation was a complete sham, a hoax, a disgrace to the RCMP. I had focused on six or seven major points needing investigation. A superindendant in Regina, Saskatchewan wrote the final Report – on two of the points. I was informed I had received the complete and final report. I was told that since two of the officers most importantly involved in unacceptable behaviour had left (?) the Force, they could not in any way be examined!
Needless to say, the RCMP was completely whitewashed.
I wrote to R. R. Knecht reporting the total sham that the Report constituted, and I asked him to act to repair the matter. R. R. Knecht refused to reply to me or to have anyone else reply to me for him. William Elliott, RCMP Commissioner in Ottawa, refused to reply to me or to have anyone else reply to me for him. Paul Kennedy, head man at the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, also in Ottawa, refused to reply to me or to have anyone else reply to me for him.
And, since then, R. R. Knecht has been promoted to second highest RCMP officer in the force … waiting to step into William Elliott’s shoes?
In his new (elevated) position over-seeing law and justice in the Western provinces, Gary Bass has not yet been suggested as a replacement for William Elliott as top RCMP officer. There is, perhaps, a good reason why that is so. Could it be that his skills at keeping investigations away from government and big corporations are needed in the Western provinces?
The British Columbia Liberal Party and government structure is corrupt – as we see - over and over. In the conduct of matters involving the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR the stench will not go away, nor allegations of major wrongdoing. In the machinations to make BC Ferries a pig’s trough for Campbell friends ‘excess is the normal’. In the alienation and destruction of B.C. Hydro and the theft of B.C. River power on behalf of shady private corporations Breach of Trust seems to be screamingly present. And – as well – the odious adventure of the B.C. Liberal government into so-called Public Private Partnerships is being more and more peeled away for public viewing … of the highly dubious (to say the least) and secret activity involved.
Most recently, the public has been informed that active B.C. Liberal leadership candidates have increased Liberal Party membership in B.C. by some 60,000-plus. The RCMP has not asked a single question about the validity of the new members, about the process of enrolling them, about the possibility of criminal bulk membership behaviour in the payment for memberships.
British Columbia (to say nothing of Alberta!), it seems, needs a top cop who will prevent investigation of high-level criminal activity among politicians and corporate actors, and will not even ask if there is a slight possibility such activity is going on or caution publicly against possible infractions of the law to keep such people reminded of their democratic duties.
Could that be a reason Gary Bass will not be suggested as a replacement in Ottawa for William Elliott?