February 5, 2014
Mr. Ian McPhail, Q.C., Interim Chair
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
National Intake Office
P.O. Box 88689,
Surrey, BC VEW 0X1
Dear Mr. McPhail:
RE: HIGH RIVER BREAK-INS & GUN GRAB INVESTIGATION
Reference is made to our five previous letters sent to you outlining the many issues and concerns that need to be examined during your investigation of the RCMP’s break-in and unwarranted search of more than 1,900 homes in High River, the seizure of hundreds of firearms and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition.
The NFA has now learned through military, police and private sources that High River RCMP computers were down in High River during the first days of the flood and that Red Deer telecommunications was tasked with providing the “CPIC dump” including the firearms registry information used in High River. I was unaware of this when I filed my Access to Information Act requests so the RCMP are unlikely to provide these records in response to my July request because I did not specify Red Deer as a place to search (see text below). I hope you were able to obtain all communications records related to this event as a part of your investigation.
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.
We also heard that RCMP radios were re-programmed in High River for “voice privacy” or replaced with special encrypted radios for use only on a special RCMP band-width. Apparently, the RCMP had to provide the radio programmer with written authority to complete this task. If true, this would be an important document to obtain as a part of your investigation.
It would also be vital for you to determine if this level of telecommunications privacy was only required in High River or for all thirty communities that were subject to a state of emergency during the June flood.
Apparently there was also a no-fly zone instituted over High River during the flood. Once again was a no-fly zone only required in High River or for all thirty communities that were subject to a state of emergency during the June flood?
Thanks again for doing what you can to get to the bottom of this mess.
[Original signed by]
Dennis R. Young
Alberta, NWT & International Director
Canada’s National Firearms Association
1330 Ravenswood Drive SE
Airdrie, Alberta T4A 0P8
cc The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson