Murray Mandryk: Guns debate shows why politics and policing don’t mix

Murray Mandryk: Guns debate shows why politics and policing don’t mix


That nonetheless does not justify a provincial authorities — or any authorities, for that matter — pondering its position is to inform police what to do.

Publishing date:

Oct 01, 2022  •  21 hours in the past  •  3 minute learn  •  5 Comments

politics Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell may be skating on thin ice with her letter to the RCMP.
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell could also be skating on skinny ice along with her letter to the RCMP. Photo by Michael Bell Photography /Regina Leader-Post

Repeatedly requested about taking duty for Legislative Building safety away from the impartial sergeant-at-arms and transferring it to a safety power answerable to her ministry, Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell persistently dismissed any issues over political interference.

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Politicians dictating policing issues could be untenable, she persistently defined. It’s not what her Saskatchewan Party authorities does.

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Tuesday, Tell wrote to Saskatchewan Assistant RCMP Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore to inform her it might be “counterintuitive” for the federal police power to make use of its sources to hold out the federal authorities’s gun buyback program.

“As the federal authorities continues to plan for his or her confiscation program, you will need to clarify to you, the Commanding Officer of our provincial police service, that the Government of Saskatchewan doesn’t assist and is not going to authorize the usage of provincially funded sources for any course of that’s related to the federal authorities’s proposed ‘purchase again’ of those firearms,” Tell wrote in her letter to Blackmore.

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It ought to be famous that the United Conservative Party authorities in Alberta has informed the RCMP the very same factor.

Provinces do have the correct to problem federal authorities authority by reputable means. And one supposes this approach — or higher but, by way of the courts — is extra reputable than UCP management contender Danielle Smith’s Alberta Sovereignty Act designed to disregard or skirt federal legal guidelines.

But that also doesn’t justify politicians telling police how they need to police.

Now, you may not assist Ottawa’s “buyback” (considerably totally different than Tell’s loaded phrase “confiscate”) that impacts some 1,500 fashions and variants of so-called assault-style weapons.

You would possibly rightly argue this gained’t preserve gangs in cities from getting handguns from the U.S. or that it’s unfair to law-abiding gun homeowners.

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Why a nationwide gun registry failed 30 years in the past beneath Jean Chretien’s federal Liberal authorities had every thing to do with folks being made to really feel like criminals over what they see as a property rights difficulty. Many of the identical arguments at the moment are being reapplied.

You may be aggravated by disturbing options that the Prime Minister Justice Trudeau’s workplace might need been politicizing the Nova Scotia capturing to promote its personal gun insurance policies. No politician ought to be doing this.

But let’s cease for a second and take into consideration the message being despatched out and the way it may be interpreted.

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What occurs the subsequent time the RCMP or some other cops encounter some less-than-stable person who’s a risk to themselves or others, however are cognizant sufficient to really feel empowered by a provincial authorities telling them the RCMP has no proper to take their weapons?

Haven’t latest arrests clearly demonstrated that possibly politicians want to start out desirous about what occurs once you lather up a mob on your political acquire?

The fear goes properly past the blatant ridiculousness of any provincial official writing to any federal officers and telling them how you can do their jobs.

Politicians ought to particularly not be telling police how you can do their jobs; it’s not the primary time the Sask. Party authorities has been caught doing this.

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Beyond the suspicious motivations for changing the sergeant-at-arms — a place held, in latest reminiscence, by all former RCMP officers — with one other policing authority, there have been ample different examples of this Sask. Party authorities pondering it’s OK to be meddling in police work.

Most notably, there was the request by this authorities and its Provincial Capital Commission to Regina Police Chief Evan Bray to arrest Justice for Our Stolen Children teepee protesters for park bylaw violations.

What now makes the dealing with of the teepee protest extra bothersome is the way it blatantly contradicts the tacit assist we noticed from Premier Scott Moe and others for the Freedom Convoy and different protesters.

Those protesters weren’t simply breaking native bylaws in Ottawa. We at the moment are speaking about expenses for severe Criminal Code offences.

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But reasonably than condemn this, what we’ve usually received from politicians is pure politicking.

By now, Tell and her Sask. Party authorities ought to know policing and politics don’t mix.

Mandryk is the political columnist for the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

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