Monday, January 25, 2010
RCMP watchdog replaced by kitteh
A Conservative real estate lawyer has been appointed "interim chair" of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Ian McPhail replaces outgoing chair Paul Kennedy, whose critical reports offended the Harper administration.
McPhail cheerfully admits knowing next to nothing about policing, criminal law or federal oversight agencies. His role doesn't require it, he says. He just has to know "how an administrative agency should operate." He is in place for a minimum of one year.
Kennedy says, "If you don't know the law, I don't know what value you can bring to the job." His predecessor, Shirley Heafy, is more blunt: the Mounties, she says, "are going to love to have him there. He's just a caretaker. There's no power to do anything unless you really push the envelope. He's coming in cold. There's no way he can do anything in a year … he's a complete neophyte."
Critical public reporting has really been the only lever for change available to the largely toothless CPCAR. "My style tends to be collegial,” says McPhail. Purr-r-r.
UPDATE: Over the protests of Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin, a report from the Liberal majority on a Senate Committee inquiring into the practices of the RCMP is due to be released shortly. It is expected to be deeply critical of the RCMP, and to call for more effective civilian oversight--which Kennedy had been pressing for before his ouster. Conservative Senators reportedly disagree with the draft report's "tenor and tone."
Posted by Dr.Dawg at 10:37 AM