Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Commissioner Lucki takes the fall ... again

Canadian political scandals are not like American ones - they lack a flair for the dramatic. Currently, what passes for a scandal is the rather turgid public safety committee investigation into whether there was political interference in the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting investigation by the RCMP

In fact, it seems pretty clear from the testimony that there was no actual political interference. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the then Public Safety Minister Bill Blair expressed an interest in an early release of details about the guns used in the shooting, particularly as the government was on a push to pass important gun control legislation. Commissioner Lucki clearly thought this was a good idea as "this was about legislation that was going to make officers and the public safer", and directed her staff to comply. 

This was the sum total of her sins. It may have been a reasonable call - and I can easily see the argument that it was - or it may have been a wrong call. Do we need a full public inquiry to establish this? If Commissioner Lucki were Donald Trump, she would be howling about "witch hunts" right now. And of course the political opposition are using it to take pot-shots at the Liberal government, as they do at any opportunity, however justifiable or otherwise.

RCMP officers at the inquiry have panned Lucki's response, calling it "detrimental" to a police investigation, and even that it inspired "disgust" within the force. But I have still not read any explanation of WHY making public the guns used in the massacre was so very "detrimental" and "disgusting". What was the value of this secrecy? And if it could help pass a law banning those guns, isn't that in everyone's interest? 

Maybe I am being naive, but if I didn't know better, I might be tempted to call out "witch hunt". I know Commissioner Lucki is not a popular figure within the RCMP, but it looks like she will be forced to take the fall for this - as she nearly did for the whole systemic racism "scandal" - and I am still not convinced that this is wholly justified.

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