When Paul Manly's video of union leader Dave Coles confronting three rock-toting undercover Quebec police officers skulking through peaceful protestors at the North American Leaders Summit in Montebello hit YouTube two years ago, then-minister of public safety Stockwell Day dismissed calls for a public inquiry :
"The thing that was interesting in this particular incident, three people in question were spotted by protesters because were not engaging in violence," Mr. Day said.
"They were being encouraged to throw rocks and they were not throwing rocks, it was the protesters who were throwing the rocks. That's the irony of this," Mr. Day said.
Mr. Day added the actions were substantiated by the video that he has seen of the protests.
"Because they were not engaging in violence, it was noted that they were probably not protesters. I think that's a bit of an indictment against the violent protesters," Mr. Day said."
This ridiculous statement ran nightly on TV newscasts alongside footage of the police provocateurs shoving Dave Coles around before sneaking back behind police lines - seen here at left - to jeers from the crowd.
As Dave Coles told CBC's As It Happens :
"I didn't know they were police right away but I knew they were agitators because earlier they had been trying to get the young kids down on the road to cause trouble."
For days after the incident, Quebec Provincial Police denied these were their guys.
Well there was no inquiry and Quebec's Police Ethics Commissioner took till this May, two years later, to clear the officers, but now the Quebec independent police ethics committee will hold hearings to determine whether the officers breached the Code of Ethics of Quebec Police Officers by inciting others to violence.
Dave Coles suspects likely federal involvement may lead to a cover-up :
"This is the big question: Who sent them in? And don't give me some lame excuse that it was a low-level officer "
Good thing we already have the public statements from Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and the QPP on record for the Quebec independent police ethics committee.
And don't forget.....
The Police themselves have their own footage that the sharp young staffers working for the inquiry may want to ask for as well.
and, for the record, I predicted that this inquiry would indeed come either 10, 12 or 34 months after the fact (third time lucky!)
Thanks, Ross - I'd forgotten about that.
The G&M link contains Paul's video of the events, effectively acting as a 5 minute ad for his current "You, Me and the SPP" tour.
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