Posted by: trashee | May 10, 2007

Stevie and Johnny B. are NOT happy campers!

Check out these heavy handed tactics that were no doubt initiated by the PMO!

The obvious question is why was this fellow handcuffed in his office and led away by RCMP officers – only to be released without charges a short time later?

It wouldn’t be to intimidate the Public Service! Wouldn’t it?

Naw.

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Responses

  1. From the article:
    In this case, the employee is alleged to have leaked policy information to the media without authorization, Mr. Baird said.

    “I don’t think there’s any suggestion that this was involving a whistle-blower,” the minister said. “Someone on an unauthorized basis leaked something, sensitive information, anonymously.”

    The man arrested was working on contract for Environment Canada last month when he allegedly faxed the Tory action plan on greenhouse-gas-emission reduction to media outlets.

    The faxed documents showed the Tories had beefed up their measures to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But they also showed the targets for carbon reduction fell short of what the opposition and environmentalists had asked.

    Mr. Baird’s deputy minister, Michael Horgan, complained to the RCMP on April 17. According to an RCMP release, the man could be charged with breach of trust, an offence punishable under the Criminal Code by up to five years in prison.

    This appears to have been a contractor rather than an civil servant, but in the end that’s not the important thing. The documents in question were policy documents, possibly cabinet documents, meaning they likely would have had a security classification of Secret. Definitely Secret (or higher) if a cabinet document. If we assume he actually did fax the documents (as opposed to someone else), then he broke the law and should be prepared to accept the consequences.

    Yes, civil servants should have some protection in whistle-blower circumstances, but this isn’t one of those situations.

    If I were to violate either of the two oaths I’ve taken where I work, I would expect severe ramifications that could include disciplinary action, loss of security clearance, loss of job, fines and/or incarceration.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions. It just sucks extra specially when you’re the first person to be taken to task on it in years. My expectation is that he will probably lose his security clearance, at a bare minimum, which will pretty much preclude him from future employment in the federal government. In fact, I will be disappointed if he doesn’t.

  2. Oh, and the RCMP may have determined that he wasn’t the one to leak the information or that they wouldn’t be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the individual who leaked the information, or that it is going to require more careful investigation before charges can be laid. If they press charges before their investigation is finished and the charges are dismissed, they might not be able to make the charges later.

  3. Fair ’nuff Gordon. Yes, those of us who swear and affirm oaths do have a legal obligation to abide by a number of rules concerning secrecy and confidentiality. No doubt.
    What I take issue with is the way that this was done.
    It is not a secret that there is little love lost between ,any EC staffers who are and have been committed to the “cause” for some time and the drones from the PMO who are hell bent on leather on imposing the Harperite weltanschuung. Many at EC feel betrayed by the politicos and rightly so.
    By handcuffing the worker at his place of work and leading him out the door, the Harperites, through the RCMP, is sending a message that dissent will NOT be tolerated and will be responded to in the firmest manner possible.
    A thought occurred to me last night when watching the news: wouldn’t it be just like Canada’s Neutered Government to leak Johnny’s plan itself in order to have an excuse to crack down on a lowly contract worker who would serve as an example to the rest of the plebs?
    Yeah, yeah – too conspiratorial… but I bet it crossed the minds of some in the PMO.

  4. From a story on CBC’s website:
    The RCMP said they arrested Monaghan for allegations of breach of trust under the Criminal Code. He is accused of leaking details from a draft version of the government’s regulatory framework for climate change. No charges have been laid and the investigation is continuing, police said.

    “An employee who violates the terms of their workplace security clearance, including the release of secret documents, may be subjected to legal consequences, including criminal charges,” RCMP Supt. Stan Burke — the officer in charge of financial integrity — said in a news release Wednesday.

    Pretty much what I said.

    Let’s fact it: the animosity between the PMO/government and some Environment Canada employees has been going on longer than the current Conservative government. And it probably will continue past the next election.

    On the issue of being handcuffed and escorted from the office: if you break the law, or there’s reasonable grounds to believe you have broken the law, you will be arrested. Normally, when one is arrested one is placed in handcuffs. This is to protect both the person being arrested and the arresting officers. Some people become quite unpredictable when their world has been thrown into chaos (from their perspective) by being arrested, so the handcuffs help reduce the likelihood their going to do Something Stupid. The RCMP aren’t the culprit here — they were just doing their job and responding to an allegation of a breach of the law. Regardless of any motivation behind the complaint, the fact remains that the law was broken. Would you rather that the RCMP ignore the complaint?

    One needs to look at the real issue here: a government employee delibrately broke the law by knowingly releasing Secret-classified documents. A complaint was made to the police who were duty-bound to investigate. In the course of this investigation, said employee was arrested, which involved being handcuffed.

    Consider this scenario: A person knowingly breaks the law by walking into a store and shoplifting a leather coat. A complaint is made to the police who are duty-bound to investigate. In the course of this investigation, said person is arrested, which involves being handcuffed.

    Other than the fact that people haven’t been arrested that often, recently, for violating the security act, the two scenarios aren’t that disimilar, are they? Perhaps the real problem is the lackadaisical attitude of people who have broken the law in the past by leaking Secret documents. Maybe it’s high-time that people start the oaths of their job seriously and accept the consequences when they don’t.


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