HIGH RIVER, AB (July 5, 2013): The Wildrose Official Opposition is today applauding a request from RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson to have that police force’s recent seizure of firearms from private residences in High River investigated by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
Last week, it was revealed that RCMP officers in High River seized a number of firearms from evacuated, flood-ravaged homes in town. In a letter to the Commission today, Paulson asks for an investigation to assess if the RCMP’s firearms seizure was “well founded, reasonably executed and in accordance with our policies.” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader and Highwood MLA Danielle Smith welcomes the investigation and says residents deserve answers. “Obviously, my constituents were very concerned to hear that police officers were going into their homes and seizing their possessions,” Smith said. “This seizure only further aggravated an already tense and stressful situation with residents forced out of their homes and not knowing the fate of their belongings. These sorts of actions damage the trust residents have for their leaders and will make future disaster situations more difficult to manage effectively.” Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said it’s important to find out whether or not police acted properly and legally in seizing firearms from homes and what role, if any, the Alberta government had in the seizures. “Albertans are wondering how this violation of privacy took place and are asking if the current Premier and Justice Minister had any hand in it,” Saskiw said. “We need to get to the bottom of this and I’m happy to see the RCMP Commissioner undertake to do exactly that. Albertans must have confidence that their rights will be protected and upheld, especially during times of emergency.”