July 12 2007
Stephen Harper, the RCMP, the Movement Towards a Fascist State in Canada
Contributed by: Robin Mathews
*NOTE. This column expresses an idea that will be offensive to some people. They might conclude the column is the product of a fevered (not to say insane) mind. Time may prove them correct. Time, unfortunately, may prove they are wrong and that the column is more correct and far-seeing than any of us wish it to be – it attempts to force attention to a real, major invasion of Canadian freedoms which most Canadians are refusing to see.
Begin with Stephen Harper: always a servant of the large, private corporations and now of the US expansionists. In addition, he is a modern Capitalist/Christian Fundamentalist – which means a stalwart in the present war against the poor, the vulnerable, ordinary Canadians, the sovereignty of Canada, policies of social equality, and – of course – against The Infidel anywhere in the world.
To do its work effectively in Canada, the Harper group needs to coerce Canadians into fear and undemocratic submission. That’s where the RCMP comes in.
Any organized proto-fascist group moving to take State power into a totalitarian grip needs a repressive police force. And it needs (in the short term) to cooperate with any force – however named - in the society that will ally with it. British Columbia has, by name, a “Liberal” government (which is perhaps the most reactionary government in Canada). A Liberal government should be at odds with a Harper Reactionary government, one might say. But there is a rumour in B.C. that top Liberals in the province are working against a Stephane Dion victory and for a Harper victory in the next federal election. That makes sense. There are spoils to share in the dismantling of Canada and in the development of a fascist state; get in line.
The role of the RCMP in the move to the Right, in the move to close off democratic freedoms has been growing relentlessly, alarmingly, unchallenged and even unexamined in any serious way. The seriousness of breaches of trust in the RCMP is persistently underestimated, glossed over, discounted.
Its role in the Asia Pacific meetings at UBC in Vancouver was proto-fascist and was alarmingly whitewashed in the Inquiry Report by former judge Ted Hughes. That was the only scandal of the list I will mention that has been inquired into – and the Report was a disgraceful, compounded cover-up of RCMP wrong-doing. (Notice the role, in the move towards totalitarianism, of present and retired judicial figures.)
The RCMP role in the B.C. Gustafsen Lake “stand off” with a few dozen Native people is worthy of a major film – to say nothing of its’ screaming for an independent Inquiry. The RCMP action was corrupt, military, secretive, fascistic, and “historic”. “Historic” in many ways – one being the use of/cooperation with the Canadian military in the “events”. One of the most poignant historic moments, in addition, was the statement by a major media liaison RCMP officer - on a film to be used for training new RCMP recruits - that “smear campaigns are our [the RCMP’s] specialty”.
The role of the RCMP in what I call “the fraudulent investigation and trial of [B.C. NDP premier] Glen Clark” was so questionable that a full inquiry is absolutely necessary. A question hangs in the air – and grows more insistent: did [now premier] Gordon Campbell or did his associates work, with active RCMP cooperation, to effect the fraudulent destruction of Glen Clark and his NDP government on the way to an Ottawa/B.C. proto-fascist movement?
We must return to that question.
First. Two more instances of deep suspicion about RCMP activities. Out of the corrupt sale by the Gordon Campbell cabinet of BC Rail have come criminal charges for fraud and breach of trust against Campbell-appointed cabinet aides. Were the men fingered because they double-crossed their bosses and allegedly were making money on the side? Did honest RCMP officers begin proceedings that couldn’t be stopped – and so have to be scuttled?
Whatever the case, an RCMP officer is alleged to have handed information to at least one (family relation) top Liberal in a pipeline to Gordon Campbell. RCMP, moreover, closed all investigations of Liberal cabinet ministers and, it would appear, of other highly placed B.C. Liberals. In addition, RCMP has repeatedly failed to assist or has fallen short when evidence has been required by the Defence in the fraud and breach of trust proceedings.
Response by the presiding judge, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, to the visible, astonishing failure of the RCMP in the matter of the production of evidence has appeared to be slow, listless, ingenuous – there may be other more pointedly descriptive terms.
What is more, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, who signed the search warrants on December 24, 2003, to allow far-reaching search, has adamantly refused to release the search warrant texts – which he is normally obliged to do when the searches are complete. Justice Dohm “released” a search warrant document nine months after the searches. Pages upon pages of the document are totally blacked out.
Does that mean there is more than RCMP and proto-fascist government co-operation in Canada?
Now headquarters of the RCMP has exploded with corruption and allegations of corruption. RCMP Commissioner Juliano Zaccardelli has been forced to resign in disgrace. Allegations of coercion, of favouritism, of cronyism are heaped on allegations of serious misappropriation and misspending of funds. There is not only suspicion but undoubted fact involved in the corruption at RCMP headquarters.
Serious investigation? Names named? Charges laid? Don’t be silly. The opposite. The Stephen Harper government is doing everything it can – from all appearances – to cover up everything illicit there and to paper over all the cracks. And perhaps with good reason….
A huge question about an open betrayal of democracy is before all Canadians. During the last federal election the RCMP announced a (fraudulent?) investigation into the Ralph Goodale (Liberal Minister of Finance) Income Trust measures. The announcement was unprecedented, was apparently fraudulent, and is alleged to have seriously changed the outcome of the election in favour of the Stephen Harper forces.
Were the Harper forces privy to and a part of the, almost certainly, fake investigation (which was quietly dropped after the election)? Did Harper or the Harper forces make promises to Juliano Zaccardelli in order to “pay” for help with the election? Certainly, Harper seemed to approve of Zaccardelli, promising him an increase of 1000 officers for the RCMP not long after the election.
In fact, until Zaccardelli’s disgraceful actions could no longer be hidden, he was solidly supported by Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper. The House of Commons Committee forced (some of) RCMP corruption into public view. The revelations were forced upon Stephen Harper. A full-scale, independent, no-holds-barred inquiry is desperately necessary in this case – and the Harper forces are making absolutely certain such an inquiry doesn’t take place.
If there was a deal between the Harper forces and the Zaccardelli forces, it had to be a proto-fascist deal. A political party seeking power working illicitly to use the national police force for political ends with promises of pay-off constitutes treason. Is there an independent commission of inquiry into the RCMP invasion of the last federal election?
If there was a deal between the Harper forces and the Zaccardelli forces, what is the situation now that Zaccaradelli is gone?
The situation may, in fact, be more favourable for a movement to a police forces-supported fascist state in Canada. The exit of Zaccardelli has had strange results. One: Stephen Harper has prevented the absolutely necessary full, independent, public inquiry. Two. He had a limited and carefully contained “review” conducted – a wholly stage-managed “inquiry”. Three. He has appointed a political loyalist to be the new RCMP Commissioner – an almost certain guarantee that the force will work for the Harper interests rather than as an independent force working for Canadians.
William Elliott (the new “independent” Commissioner) was quite happy to be a close deputy to Stockwell Day before being named RCMP Commissioner. There is, therefore, no reason to suppose Elliott will tackle the real problems of the RCMP. There is every reason to suppose he won’t. As assistant-secretary to cabinet in the Privy Council Office, with responsibility for security and intelligence, he apparently saw nothing wrong with the operation of the RCMP.
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is one of the running sores on the diseased body of law and justice in Canada. William Elliott has made no comment, that I have been able to find, about that disgrace to Canadian democracy.
Now a Task Force will undertake another phony review of the RCMP. It will eventuate in a structure that further releases the force from the legal bonds by which other Canadians are bound. It will very likely chop up the RCMP and policing duties in Canada, the easier to place them under the control of political thugs. It will produce no wrong-doers in the huge corruption at RCMP headquarters; it will increase the “Gestapo” powers of the new policing entities – under the pretence of National Security.
The sickness of the RCMP cannot be over-stated. The announced criminal investigation of the Ralph Goodale Income Trust matter during the last election was - on the national level – an outrage of immense proportions, showing that an unregulated RCMP, apparently, was ready to go into what may very well have been criminal interference with the democratic process (and, as I say, maybe with the approval and support of the Stephen Harper forces). A full-scale investigation of that event is absolutely essential to Canadian democratic freedom.
The present, ludicrous, Kafka’esque killing and “investigation” – on the private level – of twenty year old Ian Bush of Houston, B.C., shot in the back of the head by an RCMP constable in a police office, requires a full-scale, public inquiry now. The contradictory evidence – to put the matter gently – is so alarming only a full-scale, independent inquiry can satisfy the requirements of justice. An independent forensics expert, for instance, insisted the constable’s description of his shooting of Ian Bush described an impossibility. An adequate inquiry will not be held.
The Ian Bush story – “small” and “private” - is the Juliano Zaccardelli story seen through the other end of the telescope. In the case of Ian Bush a (carefully hobbled) coroner’s inquest had to be held. (The coroner – upon whose orders? – seriously restricted the jury which should have defied the coroner and made a public report independently.) Gary Mason (Globe and Mail, July 10 07 S1) counts up the contradictions that came out of the inquest: “that Constable Koester destroyed the notes he made of what happened the night he shot Ian Bush; that he huddled with RCMP’s chief investigator in the case to craft a short account of the shooting the day after it happened; that he waited 18 days before providing his first detailed statement of what happened. And then there’s the fact that it took three months before Constable Koester was interviewed by RCMP investigators who provided him with a list of questions he was going to be asked two days before the interview took place.”
The news of the corruption at RCMP headquarters and of the painful contradictions in the Ian Bush killing should fill Stephen Harper and his cabinet with consternation, leading them to a publicly declared determination to (a) find any wrong-doers, (b) to charge them, and (c) to construct a system where such behaviour becomes impossible - after full-scale, wide-open independent public inquiries.
Gary Mason describes a lawless and unregulated police force far, far beyond responsibility to the people of Canada, a force that appears to work happily with the corrupt B.C. Gordon Campbell government, openly and covertly. At the other end of the telescope the failure of Stephen Harper to have a major inquiry into the RCMP corruption in Ottawa - and beyond - confirms that there have to be, I allege, officers in many positions in the RCMP who are - in all likelihood - criminals.
Those ugly facts are exactly, I am arguing, what the Stephen Harper and proto-fascist forces in Canada want. Fascist police forces are not made out of honest men and women.