Writing about the appointment of Ian McPhail as the new chairman of the RCMP Commission of Public Complaints, John Baglow insists that the previous chairman, Paul Kennedy, wasn't re-appointed because Harper's government was offended by his official report:
"A Conservative real estate lawyer has been appointed 'interim chair' of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Ian McPhail replaces outgoing chair Paul Kennedy, whose critical reports offended the Harper administration."The critical report that Baglow refers directly to is the Robert Dzienkanski case, in which a Polish immigrant to Canada was brutally tasered to death by RCMP officers responding to his frustrated outburst.
Kennedy's report was indeed scathing.
The problem for Baglow is that there doesn't seem to be any support for Baglow's caim that Kennedy's report on the Dzienkanski affair offended the government.
In fact, the closest to criticism of Kennedy by the "Harper administration" that seems to be available is criticism by Conservative backbench MP Blake Richards. Richards didn't speak specifically about the Dzienkanski case, but merely criticized "bureaucrats and paper-pushers".
That's a far cry from denouncing Kennedy for his rightly-scathing report on the Dzienanski incident.
Baglow is right about one thing: McPhail is an excessively poor selection as interim chairman of the Public Complaints Commission. Moreover, this isn't the first time the Harper government has chosen an RCMP-related appointee poorly.
Then again, McPhail is only being appointed as interim chairman of the Public Complaints Commission. Presumably, the hunt for a more suitable permanent chairman is continuing. If it isn't, it should be.
That being said, this just doesn't justify John Baglow making unsubstantiated claims that are clearly intended to use the death of Robert Dzienkanski to provoke outrage against the Harper government.
Requests that Baglow substantiate this claim -- that Kennedy was not re-appointed becauase of the Dzienkansi report -- with some evidence have, unfortunately, not only been ignored, but have actually been deleted.
That's unfortunately how John Baglow operates. He doesn't handle dissent very well -- even when he's just being asked to back up his own claims.