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Stier releases statement on RCMP response to High River floods

HIGH RIVER, AB (February 12, 2015): Today, Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic Pat Stier released the following statement on the report released by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission regarding the High River property seizures and RCMP response to the 2013 floods:

“Today’s report confirms the excessive breach into the homes of High River residents and seizure of property, including firearms, was in many cases a violation of individual property rights. 

“While the actions of many front-line officers were nothing short of heroic during the floods, it is evident that actions taken under the RCMP exceeded their legal authority.  Without question, these acts were an abuse of the public’s trust.

“It is our position the RCMP must immediately implement the report’s recommendations.  Further, we believe substantial work needs to be done to repair the broken trust with the residents of High River and the surrounding area.

“The findings of the report show that there was a vacuum of leadership among provincial authorities in providing clear guidelines under the Alberta Emergency Management Act for disaster response.  For over a year, neither the RCMP or government officials were willing to show accountability for mistakes made during the crisis.  This remains unacceptable.

“In the meantime, it is critical for the province to fix its broken Disaster Recovery Program and be held accountable for the unsatisfactory sole-sourced contract work performed by Tervita.  The government must partner in the important work to right the wrongs of the emergency disaster response in High River and ensure residents are able to continue rebuilding their lives.”