It appears that the RCMP has deliberately concocted a definition of “crime guns” to support an agenda that allows, even encourages, the harassment of legitimate civilian firearms owners in Canada, and then hid the existence of this report from the public.
Why would the police refuse to share this report with the public? Is it just a case of administrative arrogance? Maybe. Commonwealth governments are much less open than American – state or federal.
Perhaps the RCMP brass have decided that it is unacceptable to let the public or Members of Parliament have access to police policy documents? The Liberals have decided to let the RCMP police themselves.
Perhaps the RCMP is just embarrassed to let such a flawed document be exposed?
Whatever the reason, it is deeply concerning that the police are basing public policy on secret reports.
In a democracy, the police should be subject to parliamentary oversight. This secret document shows that the police are equating administrative and violent crimes. This is an important policy decision that Parliament should make, not the police.
Not only did the RCMP drag their feet in releasing this report, but when they finally did, portions were heavily redacted. Some of these redactions raise serious questions, such as the blank sections in the Introduction (pages 4-6) and on pages 10, 14, 16 – 18, pages 21-24, page 32, and pages 34-36. Why would they blank out these sections?
By restricting policy papers to police only the RCMP is deliberately withholding potentially important information for Parliamentary oversight. It’s one thing to withhold this information from the general public but not from a Member of Parliament.
It is poor public policy to restrict analytical reports such as this to police agencies, or to heavily redact the reports they release, because doing so circumvents proper public scrutiny and governmental oversight. It is a vitally important principle in democracies that elected representatives of the people determine basic policing policies. And it goes without saying that parliamentarians need good information to oversee the police. This is as true for opposition parliamentarians as ministers of the crown.
Please write your MP to urge him or her to raise this the danger in the House, in Committee, or with the Minister himself of the RCMP’s withholding information. It would also be helpful if the MPs would file a complaint about these exemptions with the Information Commissioner. Why is so much material exempted from public knowledge? What are they hiding?