Council of Canadians votes unanimously to call for RCMP Civilian Complaint Report to be released immediately.
Monday, June 24, 2019
On the desk of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is an interim report that Council of Canadians members, Mi’kmaq water protectors, and other anti-fracking activists from New Brunswick, have been waiting 6 years to see. It addresses community complaints about policing issues experienced on the front lines of the 2013 shale gas protest in Kent County, New Brunswick, which was also called “Elsipogtog” and “Rexton” in media accounts.
At its 2019 national Annual Members’ Meeting on Saturday June 22nd, the Council voted unanimously to support an emergency resolution calling for the release of this investigative report from the RCMP’s civilian oversight body.
“As climate-related protests continue to grow, Canadians need to know that the police will conduct themselves with respect to our democratic rights,” said Margo Sheppard, longtime activist from the Fredericton Council of Canadians chapter.
“The pursuit of accountability and justice has been stalled. The Council of Canadians stands firm in its support of our activists, and the need to defend the democratic right to civil demonstrations”, said John Cartwright, newly elected Chair of the Council of Canadians.
Ann Pohl, Kent County NB Council of Canadians member and resident of Bass River, New Brunswick, stressed the urgency of public release of the Civilian Commission’s report, in the context of growing opposition to fossil fuel energy projects: “The report has taken six years to produce, and will form the basis of reform regarding the RCMP’s response to civil disobedience and protest. By releasing this report now, Minister Goodale will enable the beginning of an important dialogue with police and government about how we can protect our rights.”
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