Letter to the Minister of Public Safety regarding High River seizures, September 15

Dear Minister:

Re: HIGH RIVER FLOOD – INVESTIGATION OF PROPERTY SEIZURES

Please find attached details of the ten Access to Information Act (ATI) requests I have filed in an attempt to obtain more information with respect to the number of homes that had their doors kicked and property seized during the High River Flood that started on July 20, 2013.

On August 16, 2013, Global News reported: Ottawa – Canada’s national police force is violating the rights of some Canadians trying to access RCMP documents, according to the country’s information watchdog. Access to Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault says over the past months her office began receiving complaints from individuals saying they were not hearing back from the RCMP after filing access to information requests. “This past year at some point, they just completely stopped responding,” Legault said of the RCMP.
http://globalnews.ca/news/785556/rcmp-stopped-responding-to-information-requests-information-commissioner/

In the same article the RCMP responded: In an email, an RCMP spokesman said they are actively working to respond to all submitted requests, which have been increasing in volume and complexity. Sgt. Greg Cox maintained the force is “diligently working towards increasing our efficiency.”

It is vital that full disclosure of all documents requested in our ATI Act requests be processed ASAP. To this end, could you please check into this situation and ensure that the RCMP ATIP Branch is assigned the staff and resources it needs to complete the processing of all ATIP requests related to the High River mess.

For your information, I have also enclosed the three letters we have submitted to the RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner. Thanking you in advance for your assistance in the High River investigation.

Best regards,

Dennis R. Young
Alberta, NWT & International Director
Canada’s National Firearms Association
P.O. Box 49090,
Edmonton, AB T6E 6H4
Phone: 587-360-1111
E-Mail: Contact Us

cc The Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Prime Minister

ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS FILED WITH THE RCMP
SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE HIGH RIVER FLOOD
RCMP SMASH, GUN AND AMMO GRAB – UPDATED SEPTEMBER 14, 2013

JULY 8, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ and K DIVISION
Details regarding the information being sought: The CBC reported on July 5, 2013: “It’s no different than Slave Lake, to seize firearms or to secure firearms that are in plain view,” RCMP Insp. Garrett Woolsey, said on June 28, referring to the Alberta community swept by fire in 2011. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/07/05/rcmp-flood-high-river-guns-complaint-commissioner-paulson.html
Please provide copies of all records, correspondence and documentation related to the seizure of firearms in Slave Lake, Alberta during the 2011 forest fire emergency evacuation. Records being sought should include the authority used by the RCMP to conduct the search of private homes and the seizure of firearms, the policies and procedures governing the search of private homes and seizure of firearms during emergency evacuations in effect at that time, the number of homes searched, the number of firearms seized, the number of firearms returned to their owners, the number of firearms destroyed and the number of home owners charged with firearms offences as a result of these emergency searches and seizures.

JULY 8, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ and K DIVISION
Details regarding the information being sought: Please provide a copy of the RCMP’s most current standing orders, policies and procedures governing the search of private homes and seizure of firearms during emergency evacuations of communities.

JULY 8, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ and K DIVISION
Details regarding the information being sought: For the period from June 22, 2013 to present, please provide copies of all the records, correspondence and documentation related to the search of private homes and the seizure of firearms in High River, Alberta including copies of all communications to and from the High River RCMP detachment, RCMP headquarters in Alberta, RCMP headquarters in Ottawa and officials in the Alberta Government.

JULY 24, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: For the period from June 19, 2013 to present, please provide copies of all the records, correspondence and documentation related to the search of private homes in High River, Alberta that document the number of homes broken into using locksmiths, the number of homes broken into using physical force, the number of people rescued, the number of dogs, cats and other pets rescued, the pet food purchased to feed the animals rescued, the number of pet carriers, collars and leashes purchased to complete the rescues, the number of animals that required veterinary assistance and were delivered to local vets for care, the numbers and description of all valuables seized and secured by the RCMP before and during the state of emergency and a description and location of the storage facilities used to secure these valuables.

JULY 24, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: For the period from June 19, 2013 to June 30, 2013, please provide copies of the radio communications, e-mail messages and text messages from officers in the High River RCMP Detachment to the teams conducting house to house searches in High River, Alberta.
JULY 24, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: Please provide copies of all reports, documents, communications, and correspondence including e-mails and text messages that would show the extent of the involvement of NWEST (National Weapons Enforcement Support Team) in the search and seizure of firearms from homes in High River, Alberta during the flood and state of emergency in June, July and August 2013, including the subsequent return of those firearms to their rightful owners.

AUGUST 23, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: Please provide copies of all reports, documents, communications, and correspondence including e-mails and text messages that would show the extent of the involvement of NWEST (National Weapons Enforcement Support Team) in the search and seizure of firearms from homes in High River, Alberta during the flood and state of emergency in June, July and August 2013, including the subsequent return of those firearms to their rightful owners.

SEPTEMBER 8, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: For the period from June 20, 2013 to present, please provide copies of all overtime claims and all expense claims submitted by each and every member of the RCMP who worked in the community of High River, Alberta.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION & HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought:
Please find attached the RCMP Constable’s notes documenting the firearms seizure from 630 Hampton Place in High River, Alberta on June 24, 2013.
For the period from June 20, 2013 to present, please provide copies all notes taken by officers “securing” firearms and other valuables from homes in High River, Alberta during the flood.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 – RCMP – OTTAWA HQ, K DIVISION, SOUTHERN ALBERTA DISTRICT
& HIGH RIVER DETACHMENT
Details regarding the information being sought: For the period from June 20, 2013 to present, please provide copies all reports, documentation, correspondence( including e-mails and text messages), legal applications and completed forms, (including all drafts and final versions) made with respect to a general warrant for all High River dwelling houses, High River homes with firearms, and search warrants for individual homes and buildings in High River made before judges in open court or privately before Queens Bench judges using Special Ad Hoc Prosecutors.
Dennis R. Young
Alberta, NWT & International Director
Canada’s National Firearms Association
Airdrie, Alberta