The RCMP recently let Prime Minister Harper's former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright off the hook after accusing him last fall of bribing Senator Mike Duffy with a $90,000 cheque and revealing secret emails that raise serious questions about whether PM Harper and his staff were involved in the payoff to cover up the Senate scandal. The RCMP gave no details why, they just made the vague claim that the evidence did not support charging Wright.
Canadians deserve to know the truth including the full truth about why Wright was not charged. More investigation is also needed to uncover what really happened in the Senate scandal, but it is certain that the public has been lied to.
This petition asks that an independent prosecutor be appointed to ensure the RCMP fully investigates everyone in the Senate scandals, and all wrongdoers are prosecuted and held accountable. And it calls for full, public explanations of the results of investigations and decisions about prosecutions.
The RCMP has recently pledged to dislclose the details about why Nigel Wright was not charged for his payment to Senator Duffy, but they need to be pushed to keep their pledge.
There are serious questions about the RCMP's independence from Prime Minister Harper's government, and so they must be watched closely to ensure we can trust the results of their investigation. Both the RCMP and the Commissioner of Canada Elections (who is also investigating) are usually overseen by prosecutors who serve under PM Harper's Minister of Justice Peter MacKay.
There are many reasons to believe we can win! In similar spending scandal situations, and after loud public outcry, many provincial governments, including in B.C. and Ontario, have appointed independent prosecutors to ensure investigations are conducted properly and thoroughly, and that prosecution decisions are not undermined by career ambitions or other dangerous conflicts of interest. And those prosecutors have fully and publicly explained their decisions about prosecutions.
Help push Prime Minister Harper to ensure the Senate scandals are investigated fully, and every wrongdoer is prosecuted transparently, by:
1. Appointing an independent prosecutor with all federal political party leaders approving the person chosen;
2. Empowering the prosecutor to oversee and direct the investigations of all the Senate scandals;
3. Requiring the prosecutor to give public updates on the status of all the investigations every month, and;
4. Requiring the prosecutor to explain publicly if s/he decides not to prosecute someone who is facing allegations.
The various situations involving three Conservative senators (Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau), your former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright, and other Conservative senators and staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, are all currently being investigated by the RCMP and the Commissioner of Canada Elections, overseen by who knows which Crown prosecutor or prosecutors who may serve under you and your Minister of Justice and Attorney General Peter MacKay.
I am very concerned about the possible lack of independence of the prosecutors involved, as well the lack of independence of the RCMP given the RCMP Commissioner’s widely criticized new policy revealed in April 2013 that aligns his office with the office of the Minister of Public Safety in all communications about the RCMP’s actions. Many commentators have raised concerns about how this new policy negatively affects the ability of the RCMP to make independent law enforcement decisions, especially about the actions of government officials.
In similar situations, many provincial governments including in B.C. and Ontario have appointed independent prosecutors to ensure that investigations are conducted properly and thoroughly, and to ensure that decisions to prosecute are not undermined by career ambitions or other dangerous conflicts of interest. However, even in these situations, the fact that the Premier or provincial Attorney General selected the special prosecutor led to questions about the independence of the prosecutor.
As a result of these serious questions about lack of independence and conflicts of interest that must be resolved in order to have a just and effective resolution of the situations involving the senators, I call on you to do the following:
1. appoint an independent prosecutor after consulting with and seeking the approval of all federal political party leaders to ensure a fully independent, fully non-partisan, qualified prosecutor is chosen;
2. empower the prosecutor to oversee and direct the investigations of all the Senate scandals that the RCMP and the Commissioner of Canada Elections are currently investigating;
3. require the prosecutor to give public updates on the status of all the investigations every month (of course, without disclosing any details that would undermine the investigations), and;
4. require the prosecutor to explain publicly if s/he decides not to prosecute someone who is facing allegations (as independent prosecutors have in B.C. in similar politically charged situations).
As well, given the clear evidence that has been made fully public in recent months about the situations, I believe the decisions to prosecute can be made within months. Any further delays must be explained publicly, and regularly, by the independent prosecutor.