Category: Historical Reprints
Source: Bangor Daily News, July 7, 1977
Probe Ordered Into Alleged
RCMP Illegal Break-Ins
c. 1977 N.Y. Times
OTTAWA — The Canadian government ordered a full-scale inquiry Wednesday into charges that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had resorted to illegal break-ins and other activities in carrying out security investigations.
The announcement caused a political sensation here, with what are widely expected to be damaging implications for the government of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Trudeau had defended the security service against criticism by opposition parties as allegations of wrongdoing had grown and had rejected demands in Parliament for the inquiry that has now been ordered.
A three-man commission of legal experts was named to investigate the Mounted Police, and from that inquiry new rules are expected to emerge governing how far the unit can go in carrying out responsibility for protecting national security. The organization corresponds to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
The commission is the outgrowth of a series of incidents that have tarnished the reputation of the Mounties, heretofore widely regarded as an elite force whose wholesome image has been a source of national pride to Canadians. Though few are seen on horses now, some still appear for ceremonial occasions in the traditional red jacketed uniform.
An earlier incident involving the Mounties, now under investigation by Ontario provincial authorities, concerned charges that records of the Praxis Corporation of Toronto, a group formed to organize the poor, had been illegally seized.
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