January 2, 2011
RCMP plan to defy minister
By BRIAN LILLEY, Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA - The RCMP wanted to stay involved with a controversial peace conference even as the minister in charge of the national police force ordered them out.
Newly released documents also show that next time, the Mounties plan to stand their ground.
A briefing note prepared for deputy commissioner Bob Paulson, the man in charge of federal and international policing, recommends that the Mounties not back out of future events deemed too hot to handle by the government.
“It is recommended that in the future, the Minister of Public Safety supports the RCMP's position with respect to National Security Community Outreach,” reads the memo.
The conference in question was slated for the end of October at the Government Conference Centre, a federal building across the street from Parliament Hill. Among the participants were several Iranian academics tied to the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinehjad and Dr. Davood Ameri of the Islamic World Peace Forum.
At the time, the website of the Islamic World Peace Forum featured graphic anti-Semitic cartoons, including one showing an Israeli soldier shooting a baby next to a sign that read Gaza.
The original talking points prepared by the RCMP to help officers answer questions from the media included a defence of the conference.
“There will be a number of voices at this conference, not just Iranian, terrorist apologists and conspiracy theorists,” said a memo prepared by RCMP communications. The memo also stated that the Mounties would arrest and charge anyone that engaged in hate speech.
While the conference was not an RCMP event it had been promoted to members through their community outreach office. Mounties were ordered not to attend after Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told the Commons, “Canada’s national police force must have no involvement in any event organized by those who promote extremism and hatred.”