Jan. 24, 2004
RCMP rejects recommendation to reinstate whistleblower
By Asian Pacific News Service
OTTAWA – The Commissioner of the RCMP has rejected the recommendations of the External Review Committee which vindicated fired Mountie, Cpl. Robert Read.
A National Post story Saturday, reported that Read, who has not worked since September 1999, will appeal that decision to the Federal Court.
Last year the RCMP Adjudication Board, an external review process, stated that Read was justified in his actions and speaking out about his concerns. The Board, in its report recommended that the Commissioner of the RCMP reinstate Read.
The Board ruled that the Force mishandled its investigations into corruption at Canada’s High Commission in Hong Kong in the ‘90s. Read was frustrated after being pressured to drop his enquiries and, after trying all available internal methods, ultimately went to the media. That story was published in a report by Fabian Dawson in The Province.
Read was subsequently suspended and ultimately terminated which resulted in the review by the Adjudication Board.
The RCMP announced the decision to stand by its original decision in a 26 page report by Assistant Commissioner Tim Killam. In the report, Killam stated RCMP officers have a higher standard of confidentiality and “duty of loyalty” than other public servants.
“In my view, in accepting employment with the RCMP, police officers must accept that limitations on certain freedoms and higher standards of comportment are required,” says Killam.
Killam further says that Read’s decision to go public wasn’t justified because the “criticism did not pertain to a matter that had a direct impact on public health or safety.”
Killam does not describe how the breach of security in the mission which affects our borders and national security does not “impact public health or safety.”
Killam’s report concludes that although there were “some deficiencies” in the RCMP’s investigation, it was not to the “extent that Cpl. Read suggests.” Killam states that Read has “lost his enhanced reliability status, which is essential to a police officer to do his or her job. He said that Read “failed to demonstrate the level of trustworthiness necessary to continue the employment relationship.”
Read was quoted in the National Post saying he wasn’t surprised by the decision. “There’s a lot of politics behind this. It is clear to me there was an obstruction of justice by my superiors.”