Canada’s NFA calls for Judicial Inquiry into High River Gun Grab

“The mandate is too narrow to get the whole truth.”

“While the National Firearms Association wholeheartedly supports the RCMP Public Complaints Commission extending its investigation into the break-in of more than 1,900 High River homes by the RCMP, we believe that their mandate is too narrow. The Commission may be able to find out what happened, but it is hamstrung by legislative constraints that won’t allow the Commissioner’s investigators to dig deep enough to find out why, nor to address the significant question of how such an event could happen as it did outside of a police state,” said NFA President Sheldon Clare, “For that reason, there simply must be a full judicial inquiry with a broad mandate to determine what happened and why in High River – the problem is far beyond one of police policy and procedure.”

The very limited mandate of the commissioner is reproduced below:

In light of the foregoing, pursuant to subsections 45.37(1) and 45.43(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act), I am today initiating a complaint and public interest investigation into the conduct of all RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of the RCMP Act involved in the activities in High River, Alberta, specifically:
1. Whether the RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of the RCMPAct involved in entering private residences in High River complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements;
2. Whether the RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of the RCMP Act involved in seizing firearms from private residences in High River complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements; and,
3. Whether the RCMP national, divisional and detachment-level policies, procedures and guidelines relating to such incidents are adequate.

Clare continued, “It has become increasingly clear that the investigation also has to include the role of the Alberta Government and in particular the communications between Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths and the RCMP.”

Additionally, on page 92 of the RCMP response to one of NFA’s eleven Access to Information (ATI) Act requests on the issue, it shows that in addition to the 223 RCMP officers deployed in High River during the flood, there were 310 Canadian Forces personnel in High River, many of whom were witnesses to the unwarranted search and seizure operations in High River. NFA Director for Alberta, Dennis Young confirmed, “During our communications with National Defence in October, we were told that documentation does exist from soldiers in response to our ATI Act request for records of ‘complaints and witness accounts of any inappropriate or illegal action observed while working in High River’. However, the RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner does not have authority to examine these records or interview Canadian Forces personnel about what they saw and did in High River.”

Lacombe Lawyer Rick Hemmingson, who was featured in the Sun News documentary on High River (see link below), provided Canada’s NFA with several reasons why a judicial enquiry is absolutely essential. “We concur,” said Sheldon Clare, “and we will be writing the Prime Minister and the Premier of Alberta with our request.”

Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest and most effective advocacy organization representing the interests of firearms owners and users.

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For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 Contact Us
Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 Contact Us
Shawn Bevins, Executive VP, 819-313-2887 Contact Us(français)
Dennis Young, Alberta Director, 587-360-1111 Contact Us
Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393
NFA Website: www.nfa.ca