Politics on TV: Muzzling the Mounties - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Muzzling the Mounties

The three things you need to see


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. MPs discuss the muzzling of Mounties
  2. Canadian companies with factories in Bangladesh
  3. James Bezan’s bill

RCMP muzzling:

After CBC obtained an email that showed RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson instructing his senior staff to run any meetings with Parliamentarians through his office and that of the minister, warning of unintended or negative consequences to the government, Power & Politics hosted an MP panel Candice Bergen, Megan Leslie and Francis Scarpaleggia. Bergen said this was a practical protocol on communication and basic guidelines, because everything is being politicized in this atmosphere. Leslie said it was bizarre that the RCMP needs a minister’s stamp of approval to do their jobs, especially as MPs are a touchstone for their communities that the RCMP can access. Scarpaleggia said it was the government that was politicizing everything, and while there was no problem with the commissioner being informed of these meetings, having the minister looking over the commissioner’s shoulder like that undermines the morale and the independence of the force.


After the collapse of that Bangladesh factory that was supplying clothing to Canadian companies, Rosemary Barton spoke with an MP panel of Bob Dechert, Paul Dewar and Wayne Easter. Dechert noted the offers of Canadian assistance, and that while Bangladesh has signed on to international labour conventions, there needs to be more work to ensure those rules are enforced. Dewar said partners on the ground should be working with companies and performing site visits, and said there should be minimum standards including oversight that should be part of our trade agreements. Easter dismissed the notions of boycotts, noting that while these jobs may be low-paying, they are usually better than anything else the workers can find. Easter agreed these kinds of labour and safety standards need to be included with trade agreements, however there currently is no free trade agreement with Bangladesh.

James Bezan:

Power Play spoke with Conservative MP James Bezan about his private member’s bill to keep the most violent of offenders from having parole hearings for 40 years in order to keep from re-victimizing families the way  certain offenders have done, toying with their emotions every couple of years even though there is no chance they will be eligible for parole. In response, NDP MP Hoang Mai said he is concerned the bill is flawed because it doesn’t address the parole process, and may wind up being an empty promise to those families. Mai also said that the bill might have issues with the Charter and our obligations under international law about there being a maximum of 25 years’ incarceration before a review process.

Worth Noting:

Programming note: This is my final post for Politics on TV on Macleans.ca. It’s been fun, and I’d especially like to thank the hosts and producers of the shows, who were accommodating and great to interact with.


Politics on TV: Muzzling the Mounties

  1. I’ll miss this feature.

    Wanted to mention that Don Martin presented a very thoughtful and intelligent commentary on the attack ads and bullying on Power Play last night. He’s a pretty conservative middle of the road western Ralph Klein friend, so can hardly be portrayed as a radical. Just a guy with a lot of common decency and sense of fair play, hard to find commodities in Ottawa. I think people can look around and find it here:


  2. Muzzling of senior/high ranking Mounties only illustrates Harper’s fear of losing his growing control of all serfs that he employs. Toes wanted the RCMP to let him know not because of leaks but Toes is a busy body like his boss an HAS to know everything. They do except for the real issues, which they either ignore or spoof at – attack ads an example. Childhood must have impact on the PM as today he demonstrates all the characteristics of one with very little self confidence or self esteem. Using fear as a controlling mechanism, belittling, ignoring social issues, frolicking with Pandas instead of meeting the youth who have issues, losing any status on the world stage, alienating Canada steadily and on it goes.
    We, Canadians, how George W got elected we seem to be in the same pickle, time for change with a leader who has an ounce of intelligence – all Harper has achieved is to make the previous PMs look very good!

  3. The police need to be free to do their work within the confines of their mandate without government intervention.

  4. “Bergen said this was a practical protocol on communication and basic guidelines, because everything is being politicized in this atmosphere. ” ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!!
    All the complaints about “muzzling”, “bullying”, and such are started with the Opposition, and we all know that the Opposition is doing anything and EVERYTHING it can to discredit the governing Party (NEVER, of course, offering anything of substance in place of its criticisms (ie: “you’re doing this the wrong way; here’s the right way”)). As in Stalinist and further Communist days, governing is far less about actual governing than it is about Realpolitik (which, it might appear, the Opposition has down to a fine art). Our current Government knows this, and is taking steps against it. But the Opposition (and, it also appears, with the cooperation (collusion?) of the Media) take advantage of EVERY LITTLE DETAIL to blacklist the Government. Heaven forbid the tables get turned… because then the Opposition cries foul about Attack Ads and victimhood and such…

    • Can’t even tell if this is satire.

  5. Being worried things are being politicized is one thing and it may be an issue you may have to deal with in some form. Being worried that because things may be politicized THE GOVERNING PARTY NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED is quite another thing.