column was published in the
Sept. 8, 1999)
shameful in Cpl. Reed affair
By Leo Knight
as a columnist, a great amount of pleasure is taken in saying
"I told you so" after predicting something or another
is not the case this week as I heard about the shameful actions
of the RCMP suspending Corporal Robert Read for going public
with allegations of file tampering and fraud in the Canadian
High Commission in Hong Kong.
week's column ended with the prediction that Read would be
subjected to vengeful discipline by the RCMP for speaking out. I
also suggested he and former Foreign Services Officer Brian
McAdam were heroes for what they did.
and McAdam, you will remember, were behind the story that broke
in The Province two weeks ago alleging that triads had
breached the security of Canada Immigration's computer and had
tampered with over 700 files on known Asian gangsters.
also told of 2,000 stolen visa forms and of bribes to consular
officials. This, they claim, has allowed triad members and other
criminals unimpeded access to Canada.
the single biggest allegation they made was of a deliberate
attempt to cover up the situation by senior members of the RCMP
and/or the Canadian government.
lest it be said that Read should not have gone public, it must
be understood that he did everything in his power to get the
matter dealt with within the system.
going to the press, I took my complaint of criminal RCMP conduct
to the hierarchy of the RCMP," Read said in an interview
with the Toronto Star.
took it to CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), I
took it to the RCMP Public Complaints Commission and finally I
took it to the auditor general," said the 24-year veteran
of the Mounted Police.
was prepared to wait many more months for an investigation into
my complaint, but I was forced to go public when I felt I was
being discredited rather than my complaint being
investigated," he said.
the RCMP brass have shot the messenger so to speak. A classified
document obtained by the North Shore News outlines the
allegations against Read.
the 21st day of November 1996 and the 27th day of August 1999,
at or near Ottawa, in the province of Ontario, you conducted
yourself in a disgraceful manner that brings discredit on the
Force ... "
document goes on to allege he did this by making "... some
or all of the classified information and/or classified documents
known to the media and/or Mr. Brian McAdam. Some or all of the
information ... was published in the Vancouver Province
newspaper on 99-08-26," the first charge concludes.
second charge is related and essentially says Read violated the
Official Secrets Act.
document goes on to advise Read that he is suspended with pay,
but then it tells him to report to work at "A"
Division (Ottawa) everyday between eight and four.
paragraphs later it tells him, "And further take notice
that you will not have access to RCMP premises unless authorized
by the Officer in Charge of Staffing and Personnel for 'A'
Division and 'HQ' and escorted by a member."
they can't quite figure out what he's supposed to do.
document is signed by Pierre Lange, the assistant commissioner
in charge of "C" Division (Quebec), where, to my
knowledge, Read has never worked.
for his part, has taken this entire matter in stride. He told
the media after he had been suspended that he was going to fight
not going to accept a slap on the wrist, hang my head and go
away," he said.
know what is in the files and they are simply not interested in
getting to the bottom of it because it is potentially very
embarrassing politically for the Canadian government," he
told the South China Morning Post.
the action taken by the RCMP is shameful and smacks of
is really laughable is the 100-km restriction they have put on
that to the illegal migrants who keep floating up on our
beaches. Statistics tell us that approximately 25% of them are
criminals. Yet, once they are released by the Immigration
Refugee Review Board, they can go where they damn well please.
is a good cop who was just trying to do his job. Something the
upper brass of the RCMP seem to be trying to prevent.
of the senior management of the force can't remember when they
have ever made an arrest let alone been a cop instead of a
politician, which is what their positions have become.
As a former and proud member of our national police force, this whole episode sickens me. And it should sicken you too.