Liberals would meddle with RCMP: Liberals

The Liberal Party of Canada put out a baffling press release today accusing Conservatives of meddling with the staffing decisions of the RMCP, an arms-length agency of the government of Canada. The Liberals are upset that Chief Supr. Marty Cheliak was let go as head of the Canadian Firearms Program.

Their solution? They would meddle with the staffing decisions of the RCMP, an arms-length agency of the government of Canada.

Liberals call for reinstatement of Chief Supr. Marty Cheliak

Liberal MPs are demanding the immediate reinstatement of the Director General of the Canadian Firearms Program after the Harper Conservatives ousted him for making the gun registry a model in police protection.

Was Cheliak fired by the elected and partisan side of the Canadian government. Well no, according to the Ministry of Public Safety. “The RCMP has complete autonomy to direct its own personnel matters”, according to a spokesman from that office.

Imagine if the RCMP acted and reacted according to the whims of its political masters. That would help support the definition of a “police-state” wouldn’t it? It’s a bit disturbing that the Liberals either haven’t done their research as to the appropriate relationship between government and the RCMP, or that they are indeed advocating that their government would run political interference.

The Liberals argue that this is a political move executed by the government on the eve of a showdown between the parties on the long-gun registry, a vote on its dismantling is scheduled for September 22nd. The RCMP however, says that the position is one which has a bilingualism requirement, one which Cheliak does not meet.

On the face of this, a bureaucrat is being reassigned by an arms-length agency of the government for not meeting a bilingualism standard. Since the Liberals cannot make a case against this as stated, they are concocting an argument that this is political interference.

The Liberals have taken a partisan position (as parties do) in the debate over the long-gun registry. However, to support their argument, they are politicizing an arms-length agency of the government. They are doing so first by accusing the government of political interference “without hard evidence”, as the CBC reported last night, then by suggesting that they would inappropriately interfere with staffing decisions at the RCMP to rectify the situation, which they indirectly admit, supports their position in an upcoming partisan debate.



  • batb

    OK, so what’s the connection between Cheliak and the Liberal$?

    There must be one or they wouldn’t be so hell bent on accusing the Conservatives of “firing” him — with no evidence whatsoever. (Well, to be truthful, when have the Liberal$ ever been scrupulous about evidence before or after an accusation against the CPC?) There must be something in it for them, keeping Chief Supr. Marty Cheliak as head of the Canadian Firearms Program, though I’m not expecting any investigative reporting from the TorStar or Canada’s “National Newspaper,” the Probe and Fail..

  • Canadiansense

    Why are we shocked the Liberals are making stuff up, promise to meddle into an arms length agency or favour a police state?
    This is a pattern of by the war room in the Liberal Party. How many issues have they spent months on with little or no traction?

    Talk to Liberals – office holders, party organizers, fundraisers – around the country and you will tap into a malaise that a good pollster could rout out with a single question: “What’s happening?” “Nothin’,” the vast majority would respond, with a margin of error of plus or minus very little.

    “There is no Liberal Party,” says one lifelong card carrier who has sat at cabinet tables.
    “It died a long time ago. It’s not completely extinct yet, but there’s no there there.” In this lifelong Liberal’s eyes, the party has been stalled for years. No new energy, no new ideas, no vision of what it might like to do. The singular advantage of proroguing, this Liberal would say, is that it has put an end to the squirming every time the opposition pounces.
    “The ‘gotcha’ stuff is out of control,” says the Liberal. “They bring in all these nerdy keener kids from campus and it’s some kind of game to them. They’re turning politics into pro wrestling.” The media concentrates on the top, Ignatieff, and on the Hill, but disenchanted Liberals say there is a story to be told far from the now-silenced sound bites of the Centre Block – Roy MacGregor 01/24/10 Globe and Mail- Passion over prorogation pales next to political apathy

  • Stephen Taylor

    From the Liberal release:

    ===Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak has been sent packing by the Harper government, only 9 months into his position, for supporting the long-gun registry and promoting its effectiveness alongside Canada’s chiefs of police.”===

    So, I imagine that the Liberals like the guy because they see him as supportive of their position. He’s an effective club against the government. But that’s why they accuse the government for his re-assignment, yet they have no evidence to suggest that the government interfered.

  • Patrick Ross

    It’s given the media the opportunity to regugitate their claims that critics are under fire from the government.

    Including, apparently, Linda Keen whom the media just keeps forgetting spent years emphatically NOT doing her job.

  • wilson

    The RCMP Commish sent him off to French school,
    I’m guessing,
    that if a reporter who did not look for a Conservative conspiracy behind everything that happen,
    looked at the Language Commish report that was tabled in May, in the House, that crack reporter could make a few calls, and maybe find that the RCMP was not living up to the agreement on bilingual public servants……….

  • NovaDog

    Suppose our progressive loon loving media will report on this one?

  • calgary_junkie

    Ever since Dion’s greenshift died an inglorious death, the Libs haven’t produced much of anything policy-wise. And anything that Iggy HAS advocated, has disappeared off the radar after a few weeks.

    Their current big policy is a promise to rescind Flaherty’s next round of corporate tax cuts. And supposedly, the Libs will bring the cuts back, when the economy recovers, or some such gibberish.

    Anyway, they are basically reduced to nitpicking all manner of process and style issues.
    Surely the ppg is getting tired of their song-and-dance, and eagerly awaiting the vote on Candice’s bill, like the rest of us.

  • wilson

    And it was the Dippers that campaigned on ‘no corp tax cuts’ in 2008.

    That was one of the reasons Dion gave to why he would NOT form a coalition with the Dippers.
    If I remember correctly, the coalition of losers agreement KEPT the corp tax cuts,
    in exchange Dion gave up the Green Shift.
    Layton took a lot of flack from his supporters for backing down on his #1 campaing policy, to form a coalition of losers.

    Now Iffy is on side with Jack.
    Sounds like they have a deal.

  • Cool Blue

    So the Liberals are now against mandatory bilingualism in the executive ranks?

  • Liz J

    How much farther down do the Liberals need to go to obscurity? Are they really that out of touch and incapable of figuring out what really is going on or do they assume the people of this country are not capable of doing their own research and rooting out the facts?

    Sorry, this is one they cannot pin on the Harper government.

    BTW, where is Iggy drawing crowds these past few days? The silence is deafening.

  • Gabby in QC

    But you must admit the reason given for Cheliak’s departure is kind of hokey. It is completely reasonable to ask why his non-bilingualism wasn’t an issue when he was given the position in the first place.

    Whoever made the decision to remove him — I don’t care whether it was the government or whether it was an internal RCMP decision — should have stated a more credible reason. Would it have been SO terrible for the government to state this guy doesn’t believe in our government policy on the gun registry, so his position is untenable? That is assuming it was actually the government’s decision to let him go, which I have no way of knowing, and neither have the opposition and their media pals.

    By the same token, if it was the RCMP’s decision, what was his mission when he was first given the job? Was it to improve the workings of the gun registry? Or to find ways of eliminating it? Did he accomplish the mission he was given, or did he go rogue?

    Be it the government or the RCMP, they leave themselves wide open to all sorts of accusations by giving such feeble reasons. And the applause from the media is audible, because they can embark on another in the long list of “the Conservatives muzzle and then fire their critics” meme.

  • Bec

    Of course they would, meddling, controlling, manipulating…IS what they do.

    Politics, all of the time but in this case, as in the other faux scandals, they are wrong.

    Follow the dots media, it’s not that hard!

  • Gayle

    Well Stephen, I have to give you credit. This is a clever attempt to spin this another way.

    I think you know full well this is not about the liberals interfering with the RCMP, but rather about the accusation the CPC have already done so. And no, there is no evidence, and there will never be any evidence unless Elliot or Harper confess, and we both know that will never happen.

    It does not matter, because this simply feeds the narrative that Harper is a bully and a control freak. And the reason that narrative even exists in the first place is because Harper has a habit of firing, removing or attacking people who disagree with him.

    Even if this really was not down to Harper’s interference on this incident, people can hardly be blamed for reaching that conclusion given his history.

  • Mary T

    A lot of english only speaking men and women must be very happy with the support the libs and media are giving a non french speaking honcho. Does that mean speaking french will no longer be needed to be hired.
    Perhaps he was told, and promised to take french lessons on getting the job, but didn’t do it. Perhaps he is so supportive of the gun registry, as are other police organizations is because the company operating the computer system for it donated 100,000 to their organization.
    Remember what the CSIS head said about being influenced by foreign persons, or by companies.
    Perhaps other head honchos in high places will realize that they better follow the wishes of their boss, the govt.

  • Anonymous

    Be it the government or the RCMP, they leave themselves wide open to all sorts of accusations by giving such feeble reasons. And the applause from the media is audible, because they can embark on another in the long list of “the Conservatives muzzle and then fire their critics” meme.

    …You get it. You actually understand why some of the Harper government actions (and suspected back-channel actions like this RCMP dismissal) continue to draw criticism.

    Dodging the Afghan detainee issue, ill-timed prorogation, messing with the long-form census – all of these were accompanied with little or no credible explanation to the public, and lame evasive defenses. If the Harper government would make their moves openly and boldly, with accountability, instead of like a kid stealing cookies, the media would focus on issues, and less on their autocratic style.

    Why doesn’t the CPC get this?

  • Anonymous

    I should be used to it, but I still get a giggle from dead giveaways like this:

    Perhaps other head honchos in high places will realize that they better follow the wishes of their boss, the govt.

    You forgot to add the necessary right-wing disclaimer
    (* offer void when anyone other than the CPC is the government)

  • Guest

    Absolutely! This is why we’re never going to land a majority government. We seem to be going from crisis to crisis this summer. Dare I say it but I think it’s time to start looking at a new form of leadership if not a new leader.

  • Liz J

    You’re so right about Linda Keen, she became the media darling, used to fuel their hate agenda against the Harper Government and this one will be added to their pathetic arsenal to be used over and over, piled onto the next excuse to yip and yap into the wind.

    Why they don’t get busy and work on a few policies to present themselves as a government in waiting?

    As Official Opposition they’re sadly lacking, even their “leader” says it’s not his job to offer alternatives, it’s his job to oppose. Does that sound like an opposition leader who gets it?

  • Gabby in QC

    “If the Harper government would make their moves openly and boldly, with accountability, instead of like a kid stealing cookies, the media would focus on issues, and less on their autocratic style.”

    I agree with the first part of your statement — the part about the government stating its moves clearly & boldly — but you and I know the media generally would NOT focus on the real issues. They would still concentrate on the slightest whiff of a possible “scandal” they could exploit for days on end to feed the beast, the 24/7 news cycle.

    Similar criticisms, i.e. that issues are not dealt with clearly & boldly by government, have emerged about Obama’s Washington in a Vanity Fair piece, with the author referring to the “fickle view of the commentariat.”

    In Quebec, former journalist and current Quebec cabinet minister Christine St-Pierre said in a meeting with the (provincial) Young Liberals that the media have their own [anti-government] agenda.

    Further, in a recent op-ed I read in a Metro newspaper on my way downtown, a young conservative sovereignist (?), sociologist Mathieu Bock-Côté, states “democracy has been appropriated by corporatist groups supplanting the people” as one of the causes for Quebec’s present deadlock. IMO, one of those “corporatist groups” is … drum roll … the media.

    So, to get back to the Harper Government, or to any government for that matter, it has to get its message across to an increasingly apathetic & cynical public through the bramble of the media and various interest groups. An almost impossible task.

  • Gabby in QC

    A postscript to my previous comment:

    I had not yet seen RCMP Commissioner Elliott respond to questions about the “dismissal” of Chief Supr. Marty Cheliak. The Commissioner emphatically stated that decision was not politically motivated, nor did it have anything to do with whether Cheliak supports the gun registry or not. In other words, all the speculation and “reasons” given by the media for the “dismissal” are not-so-pure fabrication.

    Faced with the choice of believing media “reports” and opposition critics versus the Commissioner and the PM … surprise! … I believe the Commish & the PM.

    I expect opponents of the Conservatives will chime in with “ah, yes, more evidence you’ve drunk the kool-aid, you’re quoting the talking points, blah blah blah.”

    All the more reason for the Government and its various departments to speak DIRECTLY to the public, without the distorting media filter. That is why I believe sites like this one need to be kept up to date, so that people can hear the PM’s speeches/announcements and judge for themselves whether they choose to believe him or not. I would also add videos of the Q & As at such events, and encourage the PM to answer more than the reportedly limited # of 2 in English & 2 in French.

  • RunnertheFirst

    Wait a minute. I though Cheliak was reassigned by senior RCMP staff not the government. His replacement will also be named by senior RCMP staff not the government.