NDP Calls For Inquiry Into Montebello Security Allegations

Friday, August 24, 2007

OTTAWA NDP MPs Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) and Libby Davies (Vancouver East) are calling on the federal government to hold a public inquiry into the allegations that agent provocateurs were used during Mondays protest in Montebello, Quebec.

A letter to the Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day was issued earlier today.
Please see attached letter.

Hon. Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,

As Members of Parliament we are writing you with great concern regarding the allegations of the use of agents provocateurs during the peaceful protests against the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit on August 20, 2007 at Montebello, Quebec.

Along with hundreds of other Canadian citizens who participated in the Monday protest, we were both alarmed at the enormous police presence. We are more shocked at the allegations that inside agents, appearing to be working with riot police, attempted to provoke a violent incident during the peaceful demonstration. Video and photograph evidence has led to many unanswered questions.

We are calling on you as Minister to order an immediate inquiry to uncover whether or not agent provocateurs were used at the peaceful protests in Montebello.

If agent provocateurs were present, the public deserves answers to valid questions, including:

      Who are the three individuals alleged to be agent provocateurs?

Was the Government of Canada informed that such measures would be used as part of the security detail at the summit?

Were the RCMP or other security forces at the summit, including from the US, privy to the use of such a security tactic?

Who was responsible for providing direction to the agents? , Were the agents directed to use force and/or violent means to disrupt the peaceful protest?

Finally, if agent provocateurs were used, what was the expected outcome in deliberately trying to destabilize a democratic protest in Canada?

We believe these are critical questions that cannot go ignored – questions that concern the relationship between state security forces and the potential infringement of democratic rights to peaceful assembly protest and to freedom of expression. As Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union said in a free and democratic society, people have the right to peacefully protest something they don’t like.

We trust as the Minister for Public Security you will uphold your responsibility to show accountability and maintain public trust.

Libby Davies
MP Vancouver East

Peter Julian
MP Burnaby-New Westminster

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