Cultural genocide? Forced sterilizations of Canadian Indigenous women are occurring and the Trudeau government is ignoring the UN Committee Against Torture’s report calling on Ottawa to investigate “all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization” and hold those responsible accountable. The response? The federal government said it wouldn’t amend the Criminal Code to outlaw it, saying existing criminal provisions were enough. Here is a list of MPs emails
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office says it recognizes barriers keep victims from coming forward
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale’s office is encouraging victims of coerced sterilization to come forward. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
An NDP MP has written to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale urging him to use “all legitimate tools” to have the RCMP open an investigation into coerced sterilization allegations that have come from mostly Indigenous women across the country.
About 100 allegations of coerced sterilization have surfaced across the Prairies and in Ontario and Quebec since 2017, when a lawsuit was filed in Saskatchewan.
Don Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, handed the letter to Goodale on Thursday after question period.
“I … request that you use all legitimate tools at your disposal to ensure that the RCMP opens an investigation into all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization within its jurisdiction in Canada and lay appropriate charges against those responsible for committing them,” wrote Davies in the letter.
In a statement, Goodale’s office said coerced sterilization was “a serious violation of human rights.”
However, the statement sidestepped Davies’ request saying that the RCMP is one of 300 police forces across Canada and can’t investigate crimes outside of its jurisdiction. “We encourage anyone with specific criminal allegations to report them to the police of jurisdiction,” said the statement. “There is no time limit to report an assault to police.”
Davies said in an interview that Ottawa was ignoring its international obligations as a party to the UN Convention Against Torture which requires governments to proactively investigate violations of human rights.
Peter German, front left, former deputy commissioner of the RCMP, speaks about his review of anti-money laundering practices in the province as B.C. Attorney General David Eby listens during a news conference, in Vancouver, on Wednesday June 27, 2018 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
On Monday, B.C. Attorney General David Eby said he was shocked to find the RCMP is doing “nothing” to investigate money laundering in the province, despite years of negative headlines and estimated billions of dollars in dirty money flowing through the province’s casinos and real estate.
He cited a finding from former RCMP executive Peter German’s recently filed review of money laundering in the province’s housing market, that Eby said, shows currently there is not one dedicated federal RCMP officer in B.C. investigating criminal money laundering.
“What is happening is nothing,” Eby said. “Police experts need to be recruited from across Canada for a specialized team that can start now. The money launderers here are already experts, they’re already rich, and now we know they’re better resourced.”
Some investigators that have shared information with Global News over the past year, said Eby’s surprise seems misplaced. It has long been known by government insiders that the RCMP and Canadian courts have little or no capacity to prosecute transnational money launderers, they said.
These investigators — including current and former federal and municipal police officers and casino investigators — say that due to weak laws, poor police leadership, lack of funding for financial crime investigators, and disinterested prosecutors, laundering investigations have often been outright avoided by police.
Police stand outside the Maple Ridge homeless camp known as Anita’s Place on Sunday, where the city was enforcing a court injunction.
MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Pivot Legal Society says it has filed leave to appeal the B.C. Supreme Court injunction used by RCMP to enter a homeless camp in Maple Ridge, B.C., and arrest six people.
Ridge Meadows RCMP said in a release officers made the arrests as Maple Ridge fire department officials and bylaw officers entered the Anita Place encampment on Sunday to enforce the injunction granted earlier this month.
Officials say they were concerned about propane heaters and stoves posing a fire hazard when used in or near tightly spaced tents.
Pivot said in a news release Monday that some of its members witnessed the enforcement and both city officials and RCMP contravened the injunction order. MORE
Zero convictions despite 7 years and millions spent on SNC investigation, prosecution
Since 2012, the RCMP have charged eight people tied to allegations SNC-Lavalin engaged in bribery of foreign officials. Seven of those accused have had their cases tossed out of court due to delays or problems with evidence. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)
The political storm over SNC-Lavalin has sparked important debate over alleged political interference in Canada’s justice system and what to do about a huge Canadian company that could fail if convicted of foreign bribery.
On Tuesday, Canadians will hear directly from Jody Wilson-Raybould on whether she was inappropriately pressured as attorney general to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution.
But beyond the political scandal, consider the failures of the RCMP and federal prosecutors in the case. Since 2012, the RCMP have charged eight people tied to allegations SNC engaged in bribery of foreign officials. Seven of those accused have had their cases tossed out of court due to delays or problems with evidence. RCMP and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada have yet to convict anyone from the company.
Many are asking whether they are really up to the job.
“Canada has a very poor record of enforcement,” says James Cohen, head of the watchdog group Transparency International Canada. “Canadian companies who engage in corruption have sadly been playing the odds that they will not get caught.” MORE
PressProgress have obtained a bombshell letter from a former UCP MLA to the RCMP alleging Kenney’s leadership team cast fake votes using “fraudulent e-mail addresses” hosted on an “offshore” server.
Our exclusive story has already been followed by the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and Alberta’s StarMetro newspapers – one of CBC News’ top investigative journalists described our story as a “potential blockbuster.”
Prab Gill’s letter to the RCMP
Money laundering in British Columbia has become a top issue for the federal and provincial governments with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau vowing a “crack down” Friday, while the province considers a public inquiry.
“The importance of dealing with money laundering concerns is something that is clearly on our agenda,” said Morneau at a news conference in Victoria. “We need to be very clear, we crack down on any issues around money laundering.”
Last year, an international anti-money laundering organization said in a report that up to $1 billion annually was being filtered through some B.C. casinos by organized crime groups. The B.C. government also cited an RCMP intelligence report that estimated up to $1 billion from the proceeds of crime was used to purchase expensive Metro Vancouver homes. An RCMP official said Friday the Mounties are searching their data bases to find the report the government has cited. MORE
On Jan. 7 the RCMP, including members of the Tactical and Emergency Response Teams, attacked and dismantled the Gidimt’en checkpoint on Wet’suwet’en territory in Northern British Columbia, arresting 14 people. The Gidim’ten checkpoint was set up in December 2018 after the B.C. Supreme Court granted TransCanada Coastal GasLink an injunction to remove another camp, the Unist’ot’en checkpoint, which was established in 2009 to control and block access by pipeline corporations to Wet’suwet’en territory.
The Unist’ot’en camp website explained that while they expected “a large response, we did not expect a military level invasion where our unarmed women and elders were faced with automatic weapons and bulldozers”.
After the initial attack on the Gidimt’en checkpoint, the hereditary chiefs came to an agreement with the RCMP to allow the oil corporation access to do pre-construction work behind the Unist’ot’en checkpoint as specified in the injunction, while vowing that “this is not over”.
The Unist’ot’en have explained that
“while the chiefs have a responsibility to protect the land, they also have a duty to protect our land defenders. Our people faced an incredible risk of injury or death and that is not a risk we are willing to take for an interim injunction. The agreement we made allows Coastal GasLink to temporarily work behind the Unist’ot’en gate. This will continue to be a waste of their time and resources as they will not be building a pipeline in our traditional territory.”
Judge agrees it is in ‘public interest’ for Crown to intervene as those arrested make first court appearance
Molly Wickham brought a talking stick with eagle feathers to B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George on Tuesday. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)
B.C.’s attorney general has been asked to intervene after the controversial arrests of 14 people in a dispute between an LNG pipeline company and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
The intervention request came Monday from a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Prince George. Madame Justice Church agreed with a defence application, stating it is in the “public interest to invite the Crown to intercede.”
The ruling came as most of the 14 people arrested by RCMP last month made their first appearance in court. All are facing contempt proceedings for defying a court order while blocking Coastal GasLink’s access to a potential pipeline route.
“The bigger issue has to do with our hereditary system and with government and industry asserting jurisdiction on our territories,” she said outside court. “They have to look at the evidence and see if they want to proceed with these charges. It may not be in the public interest.” MORE
Brenda Michell, Unist’ot’en house member, surveyed damage to a Unist’ot’en trapline, bulldozed through on Jan. 27, 2019. Photo by Michael Toledano
A subsidiary of Calgary-based energy company TransCanada bulldozed through traplines and personal property from two different clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation last week, while the RCMP enforced an interim injunction requested by the company so that it could proceed with construction. Some Wet’suwet’en members said the RCMP illegally prevented them from entering their own territories, violating the nation’s rights.
“They bulldozed through one of our traplines, pulled them out and clearcut the area,” Freda Huson, spokesperson for the Unist’ot’en House, told National Observer on the phone Monday morning. “The police told us the interim injunction against us overrides the traplines. The injunction says we can’t come within 10 metres of the work area, but our traps are outside of the 10 metres.”
Hereditary chiefs and some other members of the nation have questioned the validity of the interim injunction, since the company used support from contested leadership, as evidence of consent. Wet’suwet’en leaders, hereditary chiefs, matriarchs, spokespeople and community members, continue to demand that they are the only authority over their traditional territories, through a governance system that was also recognized and upheld in the Supreme Court of Canada in ‘Delgamuukw v. British Columbia.’ MORE
New research shows Canada’s police force assesses the risk Indigenous activists and protesters pose to the nation — not based on factors of criminality — but based on their ability to summon sympathy from the broader populace
An RCMP officer records at a citizens’ protest rally against Kinder Morgan on Burnaby Mountain in November 2014. Several protesters were arrested. PHOTO: Mark Klotz, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
As police enforce a court injunction against two Indigenous camps standing in the way of a proposed B.C. pipeline, the authors of a new report say their research indicates the RCMP’s action against Wet’suwet’en land defenders will be neither fair, nor objective.
Jeffrey Monaghan of Carleton University and Miles Howe of Queen’s University outline in a new report published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology how RCMP assess individual activists according to political beliefs, personality traits, and even their ability to use social media.
The report says government and RCMP documents uncovered through access to information requests indicate the police are not assessing Indigenous protests in Canada based on factors of criminality but are more concerned about the protestors’ ability to gain public support.
It also shows the government’s risk assessments of Indigenous protests, court injunctions initiated by private corporations against Indigenous people, and RCMP policing tactics all favour corporate interests and private property rights over Indigenous rights and title. MORE