|B.C. premier Christy Clark. (QMI AGENCY FILE)
OTTAWA - The controversy over an RCMP raid at the home of a B.C. man connected with a whistle-blower Internet blog targeting the Mounties has B.C.'s premier worried.
"Public confidence in our police force is crucial to maintaining your democratic process," Christy Clark said. "If people don't believe that police are doing their job well, our democracy ceases to function."
During the raid earlier this month, about a half-dozen officers executed a warrant for defamatory libel and seized several computers and cellphones from a man who helped to set up the Re-Sergeance Alliance blog site.
The blog was aimed at rooting out alleged RCMP corruption.
It is no loner online.
Clark didn't take a position on whether the raid should or shouldn't have happened, but still expressed concern when asked about it on Wednesday.
Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, to whom the RCMP ultimately reports, has declined comment.
Meanwhile, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has slammed the Mounties for using the defamatory libel section Criminal Code against a blogger.
"The reason we have the concern about this particular section of the Criminal Code is because it appears to only be used when police officers or police departments are criticized," BCCLA executive director David Eby said.
The Mounties reject that claim.
"Any suggestion by legal 'experts' that the charge of defamatory libel is never used is simply false," RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen wrote in an e-mail.
Vermeulen also said the controversial warrant "was not in relation to the recently publicized blog postings criticizing the RCMP."
Still, Eby wants the Mounties to "go above and beyond" to convince the public the raid of a blogger's home wasn't politically motivated.
"There are a lot of organizations, our own organization included, that are critical of the police and we don't want to fear that if we post the wrong press release that the police are going to show up at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and take all our computers on some kind of search warrant," Eby said.
- with files from Richard Zussman and Byron Chu