In the twenty months between the flood and High River Gun Grab in June of 2013 and the release of the RCMP Complaints Commission’s High River report there was speculation (including my own) that the RCMP were using copies of the Long-Gun Registry that was supposed to be destroyed in 2012 in accordance with an Act passed by Parliament.

In September of 2013, Canada’s National Firearms Association had an expert analyse a radio transmission included in a video that the RCMP released to the media on June 28, 2013 showing a staged search of one home in High River. They neatly edited out how the RCMP entered the family’s home. As a result of the audio analysis the NFA learned that the radio transmission clearly said he’s “located all the firearms.” This indicated that the RCMP were indeed searching for a specific number of firearms rather than merely collecting firearms that they found laying around while searching for survivors. [Emphasis added]

The explanation for the RCMP using the term “located all the firearms” provided on page 52 of the RCMP Complaint Commission’s High River Report is as follows: “In a number of cases, when unsecured firearms were observed by RCMP members in buildings entered for the purpose of protecting life, the members were not in a position to remove the firearms. The priority was to search every house as quickly as possible for the primary purpose of saving lives. When it was not practical to remove the firearms when initially discovered, members at the detachment were provided with the addresses and locations of the unsecured firearms so they could seize them. In normal circumstances, RCMP members would have been required to obtain a warrant for the secondary entry.” [Emphasis added]

We all know now the RCMP didn’t get any warrants for any property they seized from more than a hundred High River homes.

RCMP didn’t get any warrants for any property they seized from more than a hundred High River homes

However, the Commission’s explanation doesn’t hold water (no pun intended) in the case of the RCMP seizing Don and Jane White’s eleven trigger-locked long guns from under a blanket in their upstairs bedroom. For if the RCMP had already searched Don and Jane’s house their front door should have been open – it was not! The RCMP officer’s handwritten notes clearly indicate he kicked in their door.

Then a few days later, after Don and Jane were able to get back to their home and make sure it was secure, Don went to the RCMP detachment in High River to pick up his long guns, where the RCMP officer informed him that that two of his long-guns weren’t registered. Don responded,“That’s right, the two new shotguns we just bought!” [Emphasis added]

The only possible way the RCMP Constable knew that two of Don’s long-guns weren’t registered is if he had access to a copy of the old long-gun registry listing of their guns. See full details of Don and Jane’s ordeal in my column dated April 1, 2014.

Even though these facts were provided to the RCMP Complaints Commissioner almost one year ago, he chose not acknowledge this discrepancy nor did he address it in his report. Failing to destroy all copies of the long-gun registry as directed by an Act of Parliament, and use it so blatantly, would mean the RCMP are in contempt of Parliament. I personally informed several Members of Parliament of these facts in the fall of 2013 suggesting the matter be raised as a point of privilege with the Speaker. I have not been advised why a such an important matter was not raised in the House of Commons or in the House Standing Committee on Public Safety.

In February of 2014, Canada’s National Firearms Association even filed formal complaints with the Privacy Commissioner, Information Commissioner and the Chairman of RCMP Public Complaints Commission requesting a full investigation of this High River case and two others that had been brought to their attention. Last time I checked with the NFA, they had not received any response to these requests.

This is just one more very important reason there has to be a full judicial inquiry into the RCMP’s actions in High River during and following the flood of 2013. For more reasons open the links below.


—By Dennis R. Young, February 18, 2015

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