Search:

Keywords:

Amazon Logo

Search Now:

Amazon Logo

   
    
   
Transparent Lives: Surveillance in Canada Thin Bruised Line: The Imminent Threat to Police and Public Safety
 by  Colin J. Bennett by Doug Clark
   

Although most Canadians are familiar with surveillance cameras and airport security, relatively few are aware of the extent to which the potential for surveillance is now embedded in virtually every aspect of our lives. We cannot walk down a city street, register for a class, pay with a credit card, hop on an airplane, or make a telephone call without data being captured and processed. Where does such information go? Who makes use of it, and for what purpose?

Lose respect and you lose the streets.  That’s the hard lesson American police learned as their cities burned in the 1960s. Today, Canadian police are scrambling to preserve public order from a new “perfect storm” looming over the horizon and under the political radar. Their vaunted thin blue line of front-line officers is greyed, frayed, and stretched to the breaking point. The threat to officers and public safety has never been greater.

   
   

Paul Palango

Dispersing the Fog

 

Inside the secret world of Ottawa and the RCMP

Dispersing the Fog is an unprecedented and explosive report compiled from an investigation into the politics and justice system of Canada, focusing primarily on the relationship between governments of Canada since the 1980s and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Until recently, no institution in Canada has enjoyed such admiration and respect as the Mounties. They were beloved. They were trusted. They were respected.

From its humble beginnings in 1874, the Mounties have evolved into a hugely complex police force with almost 16,000 officers and nearly 10,000 civilians with an annual budget of $4-billion. There is no police service in the world like it, and for good reason. For more than 35 years the RCMP has found itself mired in a seemingly unending litany of organizational, legal and political controversies, the kinds of scandals that would have ruined a similar-sized corporation.   How did it all go so wrong?

 

In Dispersing the Fog, Paul Palango provides answers to questions that have long simmered in the consciousness of Canadians:

 

What was the hidden story about Maher Arar?

What were the roots of the Income Trust scandal which helped to get Stephen Harper elected Prime Minister of Canada?

Was Brian Mulroney an innocent victim of biased journalists in the ongoing Airbus imbroglio?

Why did governments cover up the truth in Project Sidewinder, a joint RCMP-CSIS investigation?

 

Palango builds on the powerful and influential arguments made in his first two RCMP books, Above the Law and The Last Guardians, to show Canadians why they should be concerned about the RCMP, its mandate, its performance and its relationship to governments and politics.

No other author knows the subject matter better than Palango. Once a voice in the wilderness, many Canadians now have come to believe what he has to say.  Dispersing the Fog is not just a book about the RCMP, but a story about the political and justice systems in general and a wake-up call for any Canadian concerned about the security and integrity of the country.

 

Dispersing the Fog is an elegant, thorough and conclusive debunking of the many myths of the RCMP and the Canadian way of policing. It shows clearly how the federal and provincial governments have encouraged and nurtured the RCMP over the past three decades for their own political purposes. It takes the reader on a step-by-step, virtually invisible process whereby one prime minister after another toyed or parried with the RCMP in pursuit of his own respective agenda.

In our post 9/11 world, Dispersing the Fog addresses the role played by RCMP leaders, politicians and the media, in general, who have collectively failed to recognize and address the very real and articulate concerns of Canadians from coast to coast who have long questioned the ability or willingness of the RCMP to carry out its duties.

No one who cares about democracy and the health of the country’s guardian institutions can afford to ignore this book.

 

 

The Last Guardians

Above the Law

The Crisis in the RCMP - and Canada

The Crooks, the Politicians, the Mounties and Rod Stamler

 

The national police force, which has proudly symbolized Canada around the world for over a century, has been having a few bad decades. From barn-burning to break-ins at 24 Sussex Drive all the way to Airbus, the force has seemed to reel from crisis to crisis.

In 1997, journalist Paul Palango, who had already written about the RCMP in the bestselling Above the Law, set out to take another look at the force for Maclean’s magazine. In the course of the article, entitled “Why the Mounties Can’t Get Their Man,” he quoted Commissioner Philip Murray, who lamented that Canada was heading towards a two-tier system of policing, with private investigative and security services dealing with white-collar crimes, because the public police force no longer has the resources – of time, manpower, or money – to do so. Palango wanted to try to show how and why the RCMP had reached this point, and what the implications might be for society as a whole. This book is the result.

With the blessings of the force, he set out across the country, interviewing highly placed officers – past and present – watching cadets train at the force’s historic Regina headquarters, going on night patrol with constables both in a remote Manitoba community and in suburban Burnaby, B.C., checking out the new drive to community policing – and some of the communities it serves. Members of the RCMP co-operated with him everywhere he went – and talked freely to him.

What Paul Palango found at the end of his journey was a force in crisis, struggling to be all things to all Canadians in a society that is no longer sure what role it wants the federal police to play – but is sure that it wants them to do it on less money. Palango also argues that looking carefully at the RCMP, shaped as a federal institution by all the societal and economic pressures that have swept the country over the years, is an effective way to examine many of the problems that ail Canada after the event of September 11, 2001.

In 1989, Assistant Commissioner Rod Stamler quit the RCMP in dismay at what had happened to the integrity of the police force he’d joined as a young man. As head of the force’s Economic Crime Directorate – its fraud and corruption unit – Stamler found his investigations were being stymied by a federal government intent on protecting its own. There was, he decided, no future for him in a police force that allowed itself to be directed by politicians who placed themselves above the law. In his book, no one was above the law, no one.

When Stamler left, he took his personal records with him, documents he later allowed Paul Palango, an award-winning journalist, to peruse. The result of their collaboration is Above the Law, a chilling portrait of a man and a police force under increasing political pressure to look the other way whenever a good friend of the government illegally dipped into the public purse.

Almost from his very first investigation of corporate corruption, when Stamler joined the new Commercial Crime Branch in 1968, he found that the paper trails he followed led to the doors of Canada's elite. He first discovered an attempt to rig bids in the proposed salvage of the sunken oil tanker the Irving Whale.

He then went on to uncover habitual dredging scams in Hamilton Harbour, massive fraud on the Department of Regional Economic Expansion by the Cartier Mint, and major corruption in the Sky Shops affair involving Senator Louis Giguère.

Now he was investigating whether Senator Michel Cogger had been peddling his influence with his good friend Prime Minister Brian Mulroney – an investigation doomed by the RCMP’s obsequiousness toward the Mulroney government. A once proud and independent police force had been leashed by its self-proclaimed political masters.

   

    

 

Suggested Nonfiction Books