RCMP launches investigation into CHRC tactics
By Ezra Levant
May 20, 2008 12:32 AM
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have begun an investigation into alleged criminal conduct by members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The conduct in question was revealed at an extraordinary hearing on March 25th, a hearing the CHRC desperately tried to keep closed to the press.
An officer of Bell Canada, appearing under a subpoena, testified that the CHRC had hacked into a private citizen's Internet account, to cover their electronic tracks as they surfed anti-Semitic websites under the alias “Jadewarr”. You can read the transcript of the hearing here — a transcript the CHRC did not release to the public.
The victim of the CHRC's illegal hacking, Nelly Hechme, told reporters that she was “completely shocked” by the CHRC's conduct. Canada's Privacy Commissioner, who has jurisdiction over the CHRC, is now investigating the matter.
But not even the CHRC's most passionate critics could have imagined that the Mounties would be investigating the CHRC.
According to this letter written two weeks ago by the Ottawa Police Service, a criminal complaint filed against the CHRC by Marc Lemire has now been referred to the RCMP's Integrated Technological Crime Unit. Here is the key excerpt from that letter:
After a full consideration of all aspects of the matter, it is our opinion that this matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We have discussed this matter with the RCMP and the matter has been assigned to Cpl Stephane Turgeon.
I expect that the RCMP will be in touch with you…
So what happens now?
Can the Conservative government really keep using its old talking points, including these two, to avoid dealing with the issue?
The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal are independent agencies that administer the Canadian Human Rights Act, according to procedures specified by the law, without interference from the government.
The Department of Justice continues to monitor the Commission and Tribunal to ensure that our human rights system remains effective.
Just how bad does it have to get before the government stops saying that the CHRC follows “procedures specified by the law”? We've got the Privacy Commissioner and the RCMP investigating now. What does it take to get the government's attention — a NATO airstrike?
And how about the claim that the government is “monitoring” the CHRC to ensure that it “remains effective”. Effective at what? Hacking Internet accounts? Shredding their records and deleting their hard drives? Staying out of jail? What exactly about the CHRC's conduct could be called “effective”?
Question: when the RCMP investigates CHRC staff, will the CHRC pay for their criminal lawyers? If so, is that an indication that those CHRC staff hacked the website in the course of their duties?
Until two weeks ago, the Conservative government had plausible deniability about the CHRC's corruption. But not any longer. The Justice Department's 50-page defence of the CHRC's prosecutions under section 13 moved the government from “neutral” into the “pro-CHRC” camp. That was bad policy. And now an RCMP investigation means the government has to do much more than just defend a bad law — it means it has to defend a scandal. That's bad politics.
The Conservatives have had an excuse for not cleaning up the CHRC's stables: for six months, they've been preparing for an imminent election. Now that Stephane Dion has all but acknowledged that won't happen at least until the fall, it's time for the Conservatives to act, and to act swiftly.
I've got a three-word action plan when it comes to the CHRC: Fire. Them. All.