The Ontario Provincial Police investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice by two members of the RCMP into senior management of the RCMP is progressing apace.
In the last few days, the two member complainants who were involved in the fatal interaction with Polish traveller Robert Dziekanski at YVR in October of 2007, were contacted by OPP Detective Inspector Nadeau. Nadeau introduced his team for the investigation dubbed Project Eastbourne.
Corporal Monty Robinson (Ret’d) and Constable Gerry Rundel were told that the investigators would be out in B.C. in October and until that point in time they will be seeking Production Orders, judicially authorized, to serve upon the RCMP for the production of all relevant documents.
Thus far they have been provided with approximately 70 pages worth of documents from the RCMP but there are actually thousands of documents.
The RCMP are typically very stingy, to say the least, with producing information to any third party agency. The last thing they want to do is to allow sunlight to be shone upon their actions. That’s just their nature.
The complainants themselves have been tenaciously prying information and documents from the RCMP since 2013 about their case.
Rundel and Robinson were part of the response team to YVR for a disturbance complaint about Dziekanski. After the use of a Taser which ultimately contributed to Dziekanski’s death, a public inquiry was initiated (Braidwood) the appointment of a Special Prosecutor (Richard Peck) and the perjury trials of all four members on what can only be described as faulty suppositions and inferences.
Two of the four were convicted of perjury by two judges who drew inferences without actual evidence. Those two were sentenced to jail just for doing their jobs.
Rundel was acquitted and Robinson was convicted and jailed. Since then, they have been fighting to clear their names over the course of the last seven years. Unfortunately, they have run up against the information brick wall put up by the RCMP bureaucratic machinery several times. There have been seven findings of failing to comply with the law against the RCMP by the Access To Information Commissioner (ATIP) since their battle began.
There are multiple internal reports of the RCMP that say none of the four members involved at YVR did anything wrong or deviated from their training. The problem is that senior management of the RCMP decided not to say that publicly and left the YVR four to dangle and twist in the onslaught of the media.
Yet, we know from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) investigation into the death of Dziekanski, from a subsequent review by Inspector Keith Robinson in 2009, a follow up memo by Superintendent Wayne Rideout in 2010, a review by respected independent Vancouver lawyer Len Doust, and a 10-year follow up review done in 2017 that the four members did nothing wrong and acted according to their RCMP training.
The RCMP even had the OPP review the IHIT investigation of the YVR incident. But, Robinson and Rundel have tried to get that review report and were told, essentially, the RCMP were claiming privilege and denying them a review report about their own actions. I’m not even sure how that is possible. The OPP said they were commissioned to do the review by the RCMP and thus it was their property, but why won’t the RCMP give up that document?
Likely because it supports the allegations of obstruction of justice by neglecting to speak out publicly to back up their members in the face of the media onslaught and the Special Prosecutor investigation and prosecutions.
Robinson’s and Rundel’s battle notwithstanding, there is a larger principle at stake here.
One of the people Robinson and Rundel allege have committed obstruction of justice against is the Commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki. Canadians need to know that the leader of their national police force is being open and transparent with them. At this point, we cannot say that.
I wish D/Insp. Nadeau much luck in trying to take a can opener to the RCMP’s lid on what can only be described as their cover-up of information about the 2007 incident at YVR.
The members involved did nothing wrong and acted according to their training.
Someone in the upper echelons of the RCMP made the decision not to support their members and that becomes an obstruction of justice in not providing the public inquiry and the courts trying the members with that information.
The members involved and the Canadian public deserve better from their national police force. This isn’t a matter of national security, it’s a matter of public confidence.