Stockwell Day must answer for police actions in Montebello

CEP calls for independent judicial inquiry

Ottawa (26 Aug. 2007) - The Canadian Labour Congress is demanding that Stockwell Day, public safety minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, give Canadians an honest and direct account about the troubling conduct of police agents provocateurs last week at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello. You Tube Video

Rather than hide behind the "lame excuse" that complaints can be made directly to the police, Day should publicly explain what happened at Montebello and "the three-day cover-up" that followed, says CLC president Ken Georgetti.

Meanwhile, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, whose president Dave Coles was instrumental in identifying the masked, rock-carrying police agents among otherwise peaceful protesters, is calling for an independent judicial inquiry into the affair.

"We all know that constables and sergeants of the Quebec Police Force do not make these decisions on their own. What the Canadian public needs to know is who ordered them to do it," Coles says, calling Day's initial response to the matter "cowardly" and "irresponsible."

"Was Stockwell Day in charge of security at Montebello? If he was, he should take responsibility for what happened. If he wasn't, frankly, he should resign. For him to try and put the blame on three police constables by referring the matter to a police complaints process is a cowardly act that would be laughable were it not so irresponsible."

Answer these questions!

Georgetti added that the trust of Canadians in their democratic institutions has been shaken by the events at Montebello.

Specifically, Canadians want answers to the following questions, the CLC president said.

  • Why did one of these undercover police officers have a rock in his fist?
  • Why did the various police corps spend days denying they placed these officers in the peaceful demonstration?
  • Who was in charge of this operation? And once blown, why try to cover it up?
  • How many other peaceful demonstrations did the police manage to subvert? When? Where? And with what sad consequences?
  • Who in government knew about this? When? And what did they do about it?
  • Is the Securing and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) so devoid of relevance that the government needed such an untoward distraction to hide it?

Captured on video

The presence of agitating police infiltrators among peaceful demonstrators at Montebello was captured on video by Paul Manly, an independent producer who was shooting a documentary for the Council of Canadians. You Tube Video

"I realized what I had at that time. I realized that I had shot something that was very different," he said after posting the video on the website YouTube. From there, it has made its way into mainstream media worldwide.

"YouTube, it's part of our democratic system now," Manly said. "You can put stuff up there and have your say, and then people can see what's really going on."

The five-minute 23-second video depicts three stocky men, dressed in black shirts and camouflage pants with bandanas covering their faces, as they are confronted by protesters calling them police officers.

"These guys had big rocks in their hands. You know, what were they doing with these rocks in their hands?" Manly asked.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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