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Publications - March 28, 2007
 







CANADA

Standing Committee on Public Accounts


NUMBER 046 
l
1st SESSION 
l
39th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1530)  

[English]

The Chair (Hon. Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.)):
     At this point in time I'd like to call the meeting to order and welcome everyone here. In particular, I want to extend a very warm welcome to the witnesses. Bienvenue à tous.
    This, colleagues, is a continuation of the hearing on chapter 9, “Pension and Insurance Administration--Royal Canadian Mounted Police”, contained in the November 2006 report of the Auditor General of Canada. The committee did hear earlier testimony from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada--actually it was the Auditor General herself--and other officials from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and from the Treasury Board Secretariat.
    This meeting more or less arises from a motion made by Mr. Wrzesnewskyj that certain other witnesses be called to a hearing to explain certain alleged--and I underline the word “alleged”--conflicts in what happened.
    We have with us, as an individual, Mr. Ron Lewis. Mr. Lewis is a retired staff sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Mr. Lewis, welcome to the committee.
    From the Royal Canadian Mounted Police we have Chief Superintendent Fraser Macaulay.
     We also have Staff Sergeant Steve Walker and Staff Sergeant Mike Frizzell. In Prince Edward Island, we have Frizzells and Frizzals. Which are you? Frizzell. We also have Assistant Commissioner David Gork.
    From the public service we have Denise Revine.
    I want to welcome each and every one of you.
    I understand certain of you have an opening statement. It is an option, not an obligation. I'm just going to go down the list.
    Mr. Lewis, do you have an opening statement?
Mr. Ron Lewis (Staff Sergeant (Retired), Royal Canadian Mounted Police, As an Individual):
    Yes, I do, Mr. Chair.
The Chair:
    Okay. I'll ask you to give it.
    I want to remind members that I will limit the opening statements to five minutes.
    Go ahead, Mr. Lewis.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
     Ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to clarify the issues of concern in relation to the RCMP pension and insurance plans. In particular, I would like to thank the MP from Etobicoke Centre, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, who has taken the time to read between the lines of the OAG report and uncover the real story. His persistence and dedication to justice have been extremely helpful to allow this story to be told and are a great service to the citizens of Canada.
    Before I address these issues, I feel it's important to briefly explain my role within the RCMP. I have been retired for over two years, after 35 years' service. During the last 10 years, I was a full-time elected staff relations representative for the members of RCMP national headquarters. I represented all ranks and levels, including management. Staff relations representatives perform duties similar to those carried out by unions and associations.
    I first became aware of the serious wrongdoings concerning the outsource of the RCMP pension and insurance plan in early 2003 and other related wrongdoings by senior executive-level employees of the RCMP as far back as 2001, which are related to the whole story we're about to hear today. While trying to expose these wrongdoings, which were both criminal and code of conduct violations, I had face-to-face meetings with and produced written complaints up to and including Commissioner Zaccardelli. To my disappointment, I was met with inaction, delays, roadblocks, obstruction, and lies. The person who orchestrated most of this cover-up was Commissioner Zaccardelli. In retrospect, I failed in my attempt to rectify the wrongdoings, in my belief that the internal processes under the RCMP Act and related policies would do the job. I now know this to be untrue, after six years of trying. I've exhausted every process available, and now you, the lawmakers, are my last resort.
    Several years ago I was advised by senior RCMP members, including the ethics advisor, who was also the integrity officer for the RCMP, that I would have to go outside the RCMP to resolve this matter, and they were correct. It is painfully clear that the RCMP could have nipped this in the bud back in 2001. However, management override of our processes has led us to your door and has tarnished the reputation of the RCMP. The processes of internal investigations require change. This is a long and complicated story. There were hundreds of allegations of wrongdoings recorded in the investigation reports. In fact, there were so many violations by Dominic Crupi, they could not be included in the 40-page summary.
    I realize there are procedural and time limits. Therefore, I wish to be very strategic in my evidence. I do not intend to deal with minor details of the investigation or to re-open the investigation. We've missed those opportunities. I do wish to identify why this whole process has failed and offer solutions to prevent it from happening again. I will address the issues of which I have direct knowledge and documentation. I can relate 11 critical actions or omissions by Commissioner Zaccardelli and others that led to these failed investigations. I hope more details will emerge through your questions.
    A culture was created by several senior executives where it became very dangerous for employees to report wrongdoings. The risk to their careers and financial well-being was high. On the other hand, wrongdoers were protected by these senior executives and supported by Commissioner Zaccardelli. This culture exists today, since some of these senior executives are still in place. But I wish to emphasize that the RCMP is not rotten to the core. The rot exists only within a small group of senior executives. Some are gone. Some have left recently. Some still remain. The good employees are still suffering emotionally, financially, and career-wise, while the wrongdoers are back on the job reaping benefits.
    How did this whole process fail?
    First, lateral-entry executives were brought into the RCMP to manage human resources, finance, and strategic direction. Some of these key individuals demonstrated substandard values and lacked the integrity expected of members of the RCMP. When these executives were found committing wrongdoings, they were protected by Commissioner Zaccardelli rather than punished.
    Secondly, the senior executives of the RCMP have delegated authority, under the RCMP Act, for internal investigations and discipline. They determine if an investigation should be initiated, who conducts the investigation, who's to be charged, the type of discipline, and finally, they're involved in the appeal process. It's totally internal. Therefore, when allegations of wrongdoing are made against the senior executives, they are in a conflict of interest. The potential or even the perception of cover-up is real.
    I have three recommendations.

  (1535)  

     One, an independent, external body or individual should be appointed to handle all allegations of criminal activity or violations of the RCMP Act when the subjects of the allegations are senior executives of the RCMP.
    Two, all funds owing to the RCMP pension plan should be returned immediately. It was noted in the OAG report that hundreds of thousands of dollars are still unrecovered. Deputy Commissioner Gauvin indicated that only transactions of more than $50,000 were reviewed. All transactions should be reviewed.
    Three, the OAG report, in paragraph 9.51, recommended that the RCMP develop charging principles for its insurance plans and review the amounts charged for outsourcing insurance plan administration according to these principles. This is very important: as long as Deputy Commissioner Gauvin is in charge of finance for the RCMP, there will be a conflict of interest, since he was accountable for the violations in the first place. An independent evaluation is required.
    Thank you very much. I would like to table the documents that will support my allegations today, along with a longer version of my opening statement, which I prepared because I didn't think I'd get the full story in.
    Thank you very much.
The Chair:
    Okay.
    Those documents, I assume, are not in both official languages, are they?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
     They're not. They're mostly under my—
The Chair:
    Leave them with the clerk, sir, and we'll get them translated and table them with the committee. Okay?
    On that note, before I go to the next witness, I want to do a bit of housekeeping. On this issue, there is a letter to me as chair, dated March 1, from Commissioner Busson, with an attached memorandum dated June 20, 2005. That document and the attachment have been translated and circulated to all members. Everyone has it, and I'm going to officially table it now with the committee.
    Yes?

  (1540)  

Mr. John Williams (Edmonton—St. Albert, CPC):
    Mr. Chairman, I refer to the blues of our meeting on February 21. On page 10--it was you speaking, Mr. Chairman--you said:
I suggest that the commissioner, assisted by Ms. George, undertake to provide us in writing the circumstances surrounding the so-called alleged dismissal of Sergeant Frizzell.
    Further on, on the same page, Barbara George says:
If such a document exists, we will get that and provide it to you.
    And the commissioner says:
You have my undertaking.
    I thought the undertaking, Mr. Chairman, that you had asked for concerned the circumstances surrounding the situation, and all we have is a memo. The memo is fairly explicit, but the point is I thought the commissioner would have taken the direction of this committee and kind of fleshed out the whole situation and given us a full comprehensive understanding, rather than just sending on a memo. I have to say how disappointed I am at the commissioner, Mr. Chairman, that she would think that a memo she dug out of the files would suffice.
The Chair:
    Okay. Thank you, Mr. Williams.
    Following your intervention, I think it would be appropriate to go back to the commissioner and ask for what was.... We'll give her the exact wording of the undertaking that was extracted from her at the meeting and ask her for a full and frank undertaking.
    I'm going to move on to the next opening statement, but I'm going to remind witnesses.... I did give Mr. Lewis—and perhaps this was my own fault—a little leeway in time. We are going to have to stick to the five minutes. I'm going to take the list.
    Chief Superintendent Fraser Macaulay.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay (Chief Superintendent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     Good afternoon, committee members. Thank you for having us here today.
    I would like to introduce Ms. Denise Revine, who is a former director with the human resource sector and has over 36 years of service with the RCMP. Ms. Revine is a public servant who uncovered the pension and insurance fund wrongdoings. Ms. Revine has been the main information gatherer, authoring a number of reports and letters, in our quest for action on this file. She will be able to respond to questions surrounding some of the issues and the timeline of events.
     I presently work in community contract and aboriginal policing in Ottawa, and I have 27 years of service. At the time these wrongdoings were reported, I was a director general within human resources.
    Before I get to the heart of my opening statement, I would like to set the stage as to why we are here today. For the past several years, the RCMP has had a small group of managers who, through their actions and inactions, are responsible for serious breaches in our core values, the RCMP code of conduct, and even the Criminal Code. I say “a small group of managers” because I believe it is very important to emphasize that we are not talking about the core business of the RCMP or the approximately 24,000 employees who carry out policing or administrative functions across this country on a day-to-day basis.
     In fact, the employees of the RCMP were the victims in this matter. They had blind faith in those entrusted with the care of their pension and insurance funds. For the most part, they still do not know how some $30 million or more was spent over three years on pension and insurance outsourcing.
    l would like to clearly state that we are here today, almost four years after reporting these matters to Commissioner Zaccardelli, because we believe he abdicated his responsibility by not immediately addressing the fraud and abuse reported to him and that there were inappropriate actions taken to suppress the facts and mislead employees. For the record, we are here because it is, and it always has been, the right thing to do. It is not, as Mr. Fitzpatrick stated at this committee on February 14, “maybe, unhappy ex-employees trying to get their things in”.
    With that said, let me get right to the point. While we do not dispute the Auditor General's findings, it is important for the public accounts committee to note that these findings are based on the examination of one year only. The issues raised before you today cover six years. They were brought to the attention of the OAG auditors in October 2005. It is our understanding that because the allegations fell outside the scope of the AG audit, these could not be examined.
    By the time the full disclosures were uncovered and reported by Ms. Revine in early June 2003, the RCMP had already spent over $25 million, committed an additional $10 million in contracts for 2003-04, and was forecasting another $20 million in expenditures before the end of 2005-06. In other words, the reported historical and projected cost breakdown was escalating to just under $55 million. This was a far, far cry from the original $3.6 million of cost projections in the business plan submitted on July 17, 2000. This abuse had to be stopped.
    The evidence presented to Commissioner Zaccardelli, which he in turn submitted to his director general of audit and evaluation, Mr. Brian Aiken, on June 17, 2003, was credible, undeniable, and convincing. The commissioner was made aware of the misappropriations of funds, the threats, the excessive spending, the serious staffing and contracting violations, and the gross abuses of power and authority.
    Ten days later, on July 4, 2003, l signed separate formal memos to the attention of both Commissioner Zaccardelli and Mr. Aiken, bringing forward a more detailed and comprehensive picture of the corruption. There was ample proof that fraud and abuse were present. Given the overwhelming excesses, any reasonable person would have suspected criminal activity.
    It was shortly after that that Deputy Commissioner Barb George informed me that l would be removed from my position. Assistant Commissioner Vern White, now retired, filed a formal complaint against me for having raised suspicions of misconduct around Mr. Dominic Crupi. My punitive assignment was a two-year secondment to the Department of National Defence. Let me add that this in no way reflects upon the Department of National Defence, but for me, being removed from my position was a punishment and a clear message to others.
    On September 23, 2003, at the prospect of experiencing further tactical delays from the auditors and more cover-up and retaliation, Ms. Revine formally wrote to the RCMP ethics advisor, Mr. John Spice, requesting his intervention with the commissioner. She outlined all the issues in a lengthy e-mail. On October 16, 2003, l personally met, for a second time, with Commissioner Zaccardelli, to no avail. We will be tabling all of these relevant documents.

  (1545)  

     It took many interventions and almost a year to bring this to a criminal investigation. Shortly after the criminal investigation was announced, Ms. Revine's work was reassigned and she was served a letter by Rosalie Burton instructing her to report to the Public Service Commission for a priority placement elsewhere in government.
    It is important for committee members to note that Ms. Burton was a patronage appointee who was brought into the RCMP and promoted into the EX ranks by Deputy Commissioner George as a favour to Mr. Jim Ewanovich, the former CHRO. It should also be noted that both Ms. Burton and Deputy Commissioner George were persons of interest in the Great West Life insurance investigation.
    On February 21, Chief Bevan made a comment that I found very interesting: "What persuaded the Crown—”
The Chair:
    Chief Superintendent Macaulay, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to interrupt your—
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Chairman, if it's the will of the committee, I think we should allow him to finish, because he's making some serious statements here.
The Chair:
    If it's the will of the committee, that's fine.
    Do I hear this as the will of the committee?
    Okay.

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.):
    What is going on here is much too important to have such rigid rules. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Macaulay could have continued. If necessary, we will take more time.

[English]

The Chair:
    I'm just applying the rules and I'm at the orders of the committee.
    Please continue, Chief Superintendent Macaulay. I think you have about another minute and a half anyway.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    On February 21, Chief Bevan made a comment that I found very interesting:
What persuaded the Crown was that there was no evidence that any money had gone from any of the pension funds or insurance system into any individual's pocket, which is a determining factor for the misappropriation of funds.
     The truth of the matter is that the investigation was shut down prematurely, preventing the investigators from being able to link the numerous gains, promotions, performance pay, hiring of relatives, kickbacks, and prospects of future consulting work to the abusers of the pension fund.
    Even under these circumstances, 21 individuals were highlighted as having committed possible code of conduct offences. Yet not one of them was held accountable for their actions. In fact, a number of employees were promoted immediately following the conclusion of the investigation.
    Mr. Paul Gauvin tabled a document this past year to senior executives in the force in which he stated that when managers abuse their responsibilities, they should suffer personal and professional consequences, including disciplinary action, the removal of delegated authority, negative annual performance ratings, and/or removal from position or the loss of employment.
    I do not know about you folks, but I find this deceptive and hypocritical, when you consider that he was the deputy commissioner of finance during the whole affair.
    As the deputy commissioner of corporate management and comptrollership, a member of our pension advisory committee, and a member of our subcommittee on finance since 1999, Mr. Paul Gauvin was very familiar with the outsourcing project right from its inception. However, as Mr. John Williams said on February 1, 2007, at a committee meeting, “Everybody walks away....”
    I quote the RCMP commissioner's 2007 directional statement:
Parliament and taxpayers expect government programs and services to be delivered in an ethical, open and accountable manner. As Canada's national police force we must hold ourselves to an even higher standard. The RCMP must be a model of ethical and responsible management behaviour. As a leader of policing and management excellence, the RCMP must continue to make sound stewardship a part of its culture.
    I would like to bring my statement to a close by talking about the present commissioner. After her appearance here before you on February 21, 2007, Commissioner Busson reached out and gave me an opportunity to meet with her.
     As a result of that conversation, we met as a group of five with the people who are here today, and she began trying to understand the events and actions that took place around this matter. Since that time she has taken an active interest in trying to determine the facts, and she has demonstrated to each of us that she is pursuing and will continue to pursue the truth.
     I can assure you of two things. One is that if it were not for this committee's having carried out its role on February 21, we would not be here today; and two, that Commissioner Busson is a new leader who is letting her actions do the talking for her. If only it were June 2003.
    Thank you.

  (1550)  

The Chair:
    Mr. Macaulay, I just want to point out for the committee that there's another slight problem here that no one is to blame for at all. We have a number of opening statements, and a lot of work and effort went into them. But they're not done in both official languages, so they're not being circulated. These statements will be translated and circulated in due course.
    These people don't have the resources that other people within departments have, so there's no blame and no problem. But this is the fact of life we're dealing with; I just want to point that out.
    Staff Sergeant Walker.
S/Sgt Steve Walker (Staff Sergeant, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):
     Thank you, Mr. Chair and committee, for inviting me to discuss the investigation of the RCMP pension and outsourcing.
    As an RCMP lead investigator with the Ottawa Police Service-RCMP investigation, I'd like to take this opportunity to provide committee members with a quick overview.
    In April 2004 I was seconded from the Winnipeg RCMP major crime service to assist the Ottawa Police Service in setting up a joint investigation into allegations of wrongdoing within the RCMP pension administration and insurance outsourcing. This investigation would encompass allegations of fraud relating to Treasury Board fenced funding, violations of the Financial Administration Act, breaches of the Treasury Board regulations and directives relating to contracting and procurement, violations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a host of allegations relating to hiring irregularities associated with nepotism and favouritism. Investigative observations showed a wanton disregard for accepted accounting practices and a management override of financial controls and accountability, which led to wasteful spending and borderline criminal behaviour. These behaviours went well beyond being administrative in nature.
    For the past 133 years, the RCMP has striven to secure and maintain public trust and confidence, based upon strict adherence to a set of entrenched core values that we attempt to identify in every employee who enters our service. These core values are honesty, integrity, respect, compassion, professionalism, and accountability. It is through strict adherence to these values that we, the national police service, assure the public that we are beyond reproach and can be held to the highest moral and ethical standards that far exceed the expectations of most private and public institutions.
    The mechanisms for ensuring the adherence to core values are accountability and supervision. The most dangerous consequence of poor accountability and supervision is corruption. The lack of proper accountability and supervision has been stated as an important contributing factor to corrupt behaviour. Proper supervision and accountability allows managers to identify the warning signs by ensuring that rules are adhered to, so they can remove the opportunities for corrupt behaviour. Corruption has a tremendous impact on public trust, faith, and internal morale.
    As a lead investigator with this investigation and as a member of the RCMP with over 26 years of service, I have never heard of or witnessed such wholesale violations of all our core values as I have seen and observed in the course of the pension investigation. The apparent lack of accountability and unethical conduct by some of our senior managers within the RCMP financial and human relations sector can only be translated to a failure of the basic principles of modern comptrollership and financial stewardship that were required by all levels of RCMP management. These failures were identified at so many levels--by the RCMP financial audit, the OPS-RCMP criminal investigation, independent financial forensic reviews, and the Auditor General' s report.
    In retrospect, and because of my policing background, I can now look back and say that when I arrived in Ottawa in April 2004 with a two-month mandate to get this investigation completed, I believe we were intended to give this a quick once over and to minimize the allegations. After our initial review, and within six weeks, it became evident that this was a very complicated and involved investigation. It was also obvious that we had neither the mandate, the tools, nor the human resources to complete this investigation in an expeditious and professional manner.
    It took four months to convince both the RCMP and the OPS that proper funding and resource allocation would be required to thoroughly investigate the allegations that had surfaced. We were five months into the investigation before a plan was approved, and it was at this time that pressure was already coming to bear from the RCMP sources to get the investigation completed. From the first planning meetings of the investigation, our team was given commitments for additional resources, but after eight months no substantial change had been effected, and l began to suspect the possibility of not being able to complete this investigation in an independent and thorough manner. As I had been brought to Ottawa to do a two-month investigation, my family was very reluctant to see me extend my tenure past this point into a ninth month, and I reluctantly asked to be returned to Winnipeg to be with my family and to continue my duties with major crime. At no time did l sever my involvement with the investigators. l had regular phone contact and helped with reports, interviews, and consultation from a distance.
    At this point in time, I can now say, as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, that I am disappointed and disillusioned that both the criminal and internal processes have failed to bring any degree of accountability. I am devastated that every core value and rule of ethical conduct that I held to be true and dear as a rank-and-file member of the RCMP has been decimated and defiled by employees at the highest levels of the RCMP.

  (1555)  

     This investigation and the outcomes are nothing short of sickening to any loyal and dedicated employee of the RCMP. My observations during this investigation and the evidence collected have led me to believe that actions or lack thereof should have resulted in the removal from management of a host of individual employees, and at the very least, quick internal sanction to ensure accountability. This should have been done to send a loud and clear message to all levels of management that corrupt conduct will be swiftly and severely dealt with in our national police service. The public expects this, and so do the employees and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
    To date we have seen only two management-level employees leave our organization as a result of this investigation. These employees did not leave as a result of official sanction.
     Millions of dollars in pension fund and insurance moneys have been subject to misuse and misappropriation and spent in violation of rules surrounding fenced funding and Treasury Board directives. The activities surrounding these pension funds went well beyond being administrative in nature. Most trained police officers would view some of these activities as nothing short of criminal in nature. Just because you may not be able to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law does not make the action any less criminal and purely administrative. This appears to have been the mindset of the RCMP management, who have since provided review and interpretation of audits and investigations.
     The RCMP chief financial officer should be the RCMP leader in the area of modern comptrollership and financial ethics. He would be accountable and answerable as the CFO of the RCMP based on the rules of accountability he himself approved and instituted during his initial tenure as RCMP CFO from 1999 to 2003, which covers the period of the pension and insurance outsourcing.
    It was also during this period that the RCMP was subject to investigation, review, and criticism by an Ontario Provincial Police investigation into contracting irregularities and breach of trust relating to renovations to the commissioner's office and other financial issues. During this period the RCMP was investigated and sanctioned for financial and accounting issues associated with the Gomery inquiry.
     How many times is an organization allowed to make the same mistakes before someone is held accountable at the highest levels and positive change can be seen by our employees and the taxpayers?
    Thank you.
The Chair:
    We're now going to hear from Staff Sergeant Mike Frizzell.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell (Staff Sergeant, Strategic and Operational Support, National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):
     Thank you.
    You've heard the overview and rundown of what has happened in the past six years. I'm going to concentrate on one very small part of the investigation, but it's a little tricky, so I'm going to do my best here. It's about the insurance outsourcing.
    Before I begin, I'd like to make note of the fact that the RCMP is a national icon in Canada and an international symbol of Canada around the world. No organization achieves such lofty heights without there being those who wish to knock it down to size. On the other hand, there are also those who will do their best to maintain that iconic status at all costs, as they believe the public will accept nothing less than perfection.
    I am in neither group. I believe that organizations are made up of people, and as such they will make mistakes. I believe the public will understand and forgive as long as they know that we are doing everything we can to avoid making mistakes in the first place, to learn from the mistakes we do make, and to make darned sure they never happen again. Our ethics and integrity must be beyond reproach.
    Having said that, I'd like to tell you a little bit about the insurance administration portion of the investigation. The insurance outsourcing was not part of the original investigation. That's why you always hear it referred to as the pension investigation. It drew our interest when we noticed that pension funds were being funneled into the insurance plans. We looked at it further, and here are some of the things we found. I won't be able to go into everything because of the time restrictions, but this will give you an idea.
    For over 50 years the members of the RCMP have been part of several group insurance plans underwritten by the same company and, until recently, administered by the RCMP on behalf of our employer, the Treasury Board of Canada. A few years back the National Compensation Policy Centre of the RCMP--I'm going to refer to them as the NCPC--realized that the computer system the insurance data were stored on was unreliable. They had to look at new ways, then, of dealing with administering the insurance. Without any real analysis, it was decided to outsource the insurance administration.
    This was the more expensive option, so NCPC should have gone to Treasury Board to get both authorization to outsource as well as the extra funds required. Instead they went to what's called the insurance committee. The committee was not told of the risk to the RCMP. Instead they were told, “This is just the way things are going these days; the government wants you guys to carry your own plan, so you don't really have any choice in the matter”. Without being fully informed, the insurance committee reluctantly agreed that the administration costs could come out of the members' premiums account.
    At this point a competition to select an insurance administrator should have happened, but this would have taken time and drawn attention to the fact that NCPC was trying to outsource the administration of both the pension and the insurance at the same time. So, instead, NCPC asked the insurance underwriter if they would take on the administration. NCPC was counting on the fact that no one would question the underwriter becoming the administrator, because the average person wouldn't distinguish between the two roles. It worked. The underwriter agreed to look at becoming the insurance administrator, and no one questioned it.
    Unfortunately, around a quarter of a million dollars was drained from the insurance funds before the underwriter decided they could not do the administration, so no work was received for that money. By this time, though, a pension administrator had been chosen through a competitive process, so the NCPC told the insurance underwriter, “Keep it under your hat; we're going to see if we can strike a deal with the pension administrator to take on the insurance as well.”
    They were successful in striking a deal. However, they were left with two problems. Number one, costs for the administration had doubled, and that would be noticed coming out of the accounts, so that's when they decided to dip into the pension funds to augment the insurance costs. They also needed a plan to circumvent the government contracting rules and avoid a competitive process. What they did was ask the insurance underwriter to pretend that they were going to be the insurance administrators, and then they would sublet those responsibilities to the pension administrator. I know that's confusing, but it gives you an idea anyway.

  (1600)  

    This actually worked, and no one noticed anything. This arrangement stayed in place until the pension investigation. Once it was determined by the investigation what had happened, I took the information directly to senior managers, who I thought could put an end to it and ensure that the moneys were repaid.
    As the investigation was closing up, I learned that despite assurances to the contrary, the money was still being drained from the insurance plans, and in fact over half a million dollars had recently been taken out. There's presently an investigation going on into the minutes of that meeting having been falsified.
    The general membership and pensioners of the RCMP have never heard this story fully explained to them, and they deserve better. They need to be able to concentrate on doing their work for Canadians without having to worry that they're being taken advantage of by the people who should be looking out for them.
    I'm asking you today to help us restore the faith of the rank-and-file members of the RCMP and show them that their hard work for Canadians is appreciated and that the RCMP is measured by their hard work and dedication to their communities, not by the self-serving actions of a well-placed few.
    Thank you.

  (1605)  

The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Staff Sergeant Frizzell.
    We're now going to hear from Assistant Commissioner David Gork.

[Translation]

A/Commr David Gork (Assistant Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):
    Thank you, sir. Before beginning, I would like to answer a question that was asked about commissioners.

[English]

    It was about what she was supposed to provide regarding Mr. Frizzell and any issues associated with that.
    One of the reasons I am here today is to respond to any questions with regard to that, because I have personal knowledge and I was personally involved in that. One of the reasons why the commissioner asked me to be here today was for this particular reason. Hopefully, Mr. Williams, that may respond to your earlier request.
    With the chair's permission, I will carry on with my opening statement.
    I have been following the deliberations with great interest, and I'm happy to contribute what I know. I'd like to respond as fully as I can to your inquiries with respect to the Auditor General's findings on the appearance of bias in the conduct of the criminal investigation into the administration of the RCMP pension funds conducted by the Ottawa Police Service.
    I'm going to be very quick, because I'm going to try to stay within the time limits. This is not defensive; it is just trying to be factual.
    I have been described as the senior RCMP officer responsible for the pension fund investigation. This is inaccurate and untrue. The Ottawa Police Service was responsible for the investigation at the beginning, throughout, and in the end. The Ottawa police conducted the investigation under their own auspices and without RCMP direction. The Ottawa police investigation operated in constant and full contact with their crown prosecutor, in their jurisdiction. The chief of the Ottawa Police Service, Mr. Bevan, reported the findings of the investigation directly to the Commissioner of the RCMP.
    I did have a direct relationship with the senior investigator from the Ottawa Police Service, Inspector Paul Roy. My job was to open doors for him and his team; to obtain resources, both financial and in terms of personnel; and to provide physical accommodation for them. During the investigation, I had my own responsibilities in the RCMP, as the director of technical operations.
    From time to time during the investigation, I was consulted by the Ottawa police about how they could access officers who were out of the country or difficult to contact, and how to obtain more investigators and physical resources, such as computers and office space. At no time did I direct the investigation or have access to information for purposes of subverting a thorough and diligent investigation. When anybody indicates that it was prematurely shut down, then I think this committee owes it to itself to know the truth by calling on Inspector Paul Roy, who was the lead Ottawa Police Service investigator; his lead investigator, Staff Sergeant Bill Sullivan; and the RCMP lead investigator, Staff Sergeant Stephen St. Jacques.
    With respect to personnel resources provided to the investigation, I solicited investigators from divisions of the RCMP across Canada to obtain the available police officers to contribute to the investigative team. The Ottawa Police Service managed and directed their activities and ultimately reported the findings.
    You will undoubtedly want to know when an RCMP member of the investigative team was removed from the overall team. This was done because of actions that were not acceptable on that person's part, and it was done after the investigation was over.
    As the senior officer of the RCMP, I was responsible for the conduct and deportment of RCMP officers assigned to this particular investigation. That is because those officers come under the RCMP Act. The Ottawa Police Service has no jurisdiction under the RCMP Act.
    Most of the RCMP members were separated from their normal chain of command during the investigation, and they took their direction for operational work from the Ottawa Police Service senior investigator. However, when an individual RCMP member required leave, required funding, required expense claims signed, or crossed the line in deportment or behaviour, it was my responsibility to address those issues.
    A massive investigation such as this one, the scope of which is well known by you, is a team effort. Any deviation from the team culture diminishes the credibility of the team, damages the effectiveness of the investigation, and puts the truth in peril. I was the responsible authority in exercising my responsibility for the integrity and conduct of the RCMP members. It was I who signed the removal order at the request of the lead Ottawa Police Service investigator, Inspector Paul Roy.
    Some of the points I would like to underline before I finish are the following. What I can say should and I hope will be corroborated by other witnesses, such as the lead investigator for the RCMP who reported directly to the OPS; investigators from the team itself; and the OIC for the OPS investigation, Inspector Paul Roy, and their lead investigator, Staff Sergeant Bill Sullivan, both very experienced and trusted investigators.

  (1610)  

     I have one concluding observation, Mr. Chairman. An original request that was in the blues notes, I noted, referred to the imposition of a gag order. It in fact was a non-disclosure order, and it was served on the team and all witnesses to ensure that there was no indication given to other persons involved prior to their being interviewed. As some of our investigators were RCMP regular members, governed again by the RCMP Act, it was only the RCMP that could hold them accountable to a direct order. The OPS could not do this. This was not designed to silence investigators but to ensure that information was not passed between others being investigated. It was served on the investigators.
    All investigators were advised that if they felt there were any concerns that had not been addressed in the investigation, or if they felt another issue had been identified during the course of investigation that did not pertain to this particular investigation, they were to include these points in their final report. That final report was to the OPS, not to the RCMP.
    If this committee truly wants to know the full story, then I would strongly urge you to consult with the officer in charge of the investigative team, Inspector Paul Roy, and the other lead investigators I have mentioned, Bill Sullivan and Stephen St. Jacques. This is the only way to clear up any doubts you may have, and I would hope these hearings are interested in the full story, not just one side of it.
The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Assistant Commissioner David Gork.
    Before we go to the first round, witnesses, we've had what I consider to be some fairly serious conflicts in testimony on the actual investigation. Considering that it's coming from the chief police agency in Canada, I do just want to remind all witnesses that you're deemed to be under oath at this hearing. That includes all statements made in your opening remarks and statements in response to questions from the members of the committee.
Mr. John Williams:
     [Inaudible—Editor]
The Chair:
    Yes, that's another point, Mr. Williams. You're quite correct.
    If there is civil or criminal litigation going on—I understand there isn't and that there can't be—the testimony here is protected under parliamentary privilege and it cannot be used in a court of law.
    Having said that, I'm going to go to the first round. We're going to have a round of seven minutes.
    Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, the floor is yours.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.):
    Thank you, Chair.
    Staff Sergeant Frizzell, how many years have you been with the RCMP?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Seventeen years.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    The following might be a little bit awkward. However, notwithstanding the awkwardness, I understand that you have an exemplary record. Prior to this investigation, were there any negative comments on your service file that you're aware of?

  (1615)  

S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    None.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Retired Staff Sergeant Ron Lewis, I have here a guiding document of the RCMP, known as the “Mission, Vision and Values” statement, signed by former Commissioner Zaccardelli. Who wrote this document?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    I was at a meeting in Prince Edward Island in June 1996. At that meeting were the entire senior executive of the RCMP and all the staff relations representatives. We meet on a quarterly basis. The commissioner of the day, Mr. Murray, basically commissioned a study by the grassroots members of the RCMP to see how we should conduct our business: How do we behave? What are our guiding principles? He left it up to the membership.
    That was the first time I met Staff Sergeant Mike Frizzell. At that time he was a constable. He made the presentation to this committee. Those items were accepted by the commissioner and the senior executives of the day, and they were made basically our guiding principles to this day, with not one word changed.
    That's where I first met Mike Frizzell. Actually, based on my dealings with him over the years, he lives by these. In fact, I had this in my pocket when I first came in, and our commissioner at the time, Zaccardelli, carried it for years. Unfortunately, he didn't live up to them. Staff Sergeant Frizzell has, and still does to this day.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Thank you, Mr. Lewis.
    Staff Sergeant Frizzell, on June 20, 2006, two senior officers arrived at your office and removed you from the investigation. Why do you believe you were removed?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
     Just to clear up something that's been in the papers, I was not escorted out of the building. Two superintendents served me the order that has been referred to here, that you have a copy of.
    Despite Mr. Gork's assertions, right in the last couple of weeks of the investigation, that's when we found out about this additional half-million dollars coming out of the insurance plans, about the falsification of the minutes of the meeting.
    Perhaps Mr. Gork's not aware of it--he was in Lyon at the time--but most certainly Mr. Roy should have been. These were directly out of the investigation. They needed to be followed up on.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Thank you.
    Were the two senior officers part of the investigative team? And under whose authority were they acting?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    They weren't part of the investigative team, no, but they were operating under Mr. Gork's authority.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Assistant Commissioner Gork, you said you're here today because the commissioner requested, but I'd like to point out that this is incorrect. You're here because the parliamentary committee has requested you to be here. In fact a request from the committee compels you to be here.
    Assistant Commissioner Gork, the written order you signed for Staff Sergeant Frizzell's removal off the investigation said you were out of the country. Where were you?
A/Commr David Gork:
    Lyon, France.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    A pretty good assignment, if you can get it.
A/Commr David Gork:
    It's a difficult job.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    So it wasn't an easy assignment, it was a difficult one. This challenging assignment in France--you were there, and then, with the five-hour time zone difference, in the evenings you were still providing oversight for the pension fund investigation?
A/Commr David Gork:
    No, that's not correct. I never provided oversight for the investigation. What I provided was liaison and resources for the senior investigator, for Inspector Paul Roy. I did not provide oversight for the investigation.
    To answer your other question, yes, I did. I had my BlackBerry on 7/24. Even being in Canada, I'm responding to France on a regular basis.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Thank you.
    I'd like to quote Deputy Commissioner Barb George's response to this committee when she was repeatedly asked who had Staff Sergeant Frizzell removed from the criminal investigation. She stated, and I quote, “I can speculate, if you wish...I wasn't involved....”
    Chair, I'd like to pass on to you, for tabling in the future, several e-mails.
    The first e-mail, from Chief Superintendent Doug Lang, reads in part:
...I have an electronic copy of the written order we served on Frizzell at the request of A/Commr Gork and D/Commr George...
    I'll also be submitting to you, Chair, an e-mail from Assistant Commissioner Bruce Rogerson, which states:
...Barb George called [Assistant Commissioner] Darrell LaFosse, then me and, then, Dave Gork, surrounding Mike Frizzell's harassing behaviour and he needed to be dealt with swiftly.
    Chair, I'm very concerned that Deputy Commissioner Barb George has perjured herself before this committee and will need to appear to clarify this situation.
     But I'd like to ask Chief Superintendent Macaulay a question.
    Chief Superintendent, what did Deputy Commissioner Barb George say to you about your being seconded to the Department of National Defence?

  (1620)  

C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    On September 19, 2003, at 5 o'clock, I met with Barb George, and she confirmed that I was seconded to DND.
    Part of my discussion with Ms. George was around how the DGs...and the support that I wasn't getting from the rest of my colleagues around my director general table. Barb made it very clear to me at that time that I was alone. She advised me that I was on an island by myself and that nobody was going to tell the truth.
    We had a lengthy conversation on the issues again, and she explained to me how naive I had to be to think that anyone was going to stand beside me in this type of situation and tell the truth.
    By the end of the conversation, I realized for the first time that I was alone, and that the rest of the managers were now distancing themselves from me.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Any time left, Mr. Chair?
The Chair:
    No, you're through.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Thank you.
The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj.
    Monsieur Laforest, sept minutes, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest (Saint-Maurice—Champlain, BQ):
    Good afternoon, everyone. I'd like to thank all of you for being here.
    What you have said leaves a strange impression and conveys a very different vision from the one presented in the Auditor General's report. Nevertheless, there remains a significant discrepancy. I do not mean that the auditor did her job incorrectly, but it is as though the information given to her were incomplete, as though she did not have everything she needed to do the job. Listening to you, it seems that people purposely threw a monkey wrench into the works to ensure that the investigation would not go as far as you would have liked.
    A number of you have spoken about the values of the RCMP, and it is very commendable that you should say that. Nevertheless, we are wondering whether this is not a case of corruption. At the very least, it suggests that the investigation should go much further.
    Ms. Revine, you were removed from your duties and your position was abolished. Is that right?
Ms. Denise Revine (Public Service Employee, Royal Canadian Mounted Police):
    That is correct.
Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    You were the one who blew the whistle about the diversion of funds. Did you mention this to senior management?
Ms. Denise Revine:
    I mentioned it to Mr. Macaulay.
Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    You mentioned it to Mr. Macaulay, and subsequently, your...
    Could you talk about that a little, please?
Ms. Denise Revine:
    I mentioned it to Mr. Macaulay. On September 23, when I heard he was supposed to go to the Department of National Defence, I was concerned about the fact that the audit would drag on quite a long time. I wrote to the Assistant Commissioner, John Spice, who was our ethics advisor. Mr. Spice then went to see the commissioner.
Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Why did you leave? Why was your position subsequently abolished?
Ms. Denise Revine:
    My position was subsequently abolished. There was an attempt to get the investigation underway. I wrote another report that I submitted to Ron on January 5, 2004. In February, I was involved in a management meeting at which about 25 managers were present. There was discussion of a new human resources management structure, and I was the only person who did not have a position within that. In April I was given a letter telling me that my position had been abolished.

  (1625)  

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Do you have the impression that this letter was directly linked to the fact that you had spoken out against—
Ms. Denise Revine:
    I had been the director for 33 years. I would say yes, there was a connection.
Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    You would say there was a connection.
Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Mr. Frizzell, on June 19 or 20, 2005, you were relieved of your duties as an investigator. Was this against your will? I am not familiar with the procedures, but I imagine that once an investigator begins an investigation as significant as this one, he must submit a report on the state of advancement of the investigation. Were you asked how much progress had been made in the investigation? What were you supposed to do? Why were you opposed, if that was actually the case?

[English]

S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
     It's not at all unusual in investigations for different people to want to go in different directions or for there to be differing opinions. It's why it's actually law in Ontario that every senior investigator take major case management training. It actually came out of the Scarborough rapist case, when Paul Bernardo got away with it and went on to greater things, as we all know.
    It's very common for there to be different directions. They've built a dispute resolution mechanism into the major case management model to ensure there's no dictatorship and there's no one way of thinking on the file. There's a whole procedure in place. Unfortunately, we didn't follow that.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Since the procedure was not followed, did you have the impression that you were removed from your duties without being given any explanations? In your opinion, did this have some connection with the results you expected to find in your investigation, particularly regarding the breakdown of the funds between the insurance program and the retirement plan, as you discussed? Is there a direct connection between the fact that you were removed from your investigation and the information you discovered in the course of your investigation?

[English]

S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
     I had been assured that no more money would be coming out of the insurance plans, and for the money that was taken out, the authority would be sought to pay that money back. When I found out that I had been substantially misled, I tried to rectify that. I tried to find out why the decision was reversed and why this money was still coming out, and that took me to Ms. Barb George, and through her to Rosalie Burton, who reported to Barb George. I left a phone message for Rosalie Burton to get an explanation for this. I believe that is what had me removed from the investigation.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Thank you.

[English]

The Chair:
    You have half a minute left.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    I will come back next time.

[English]

The Chair:
    Thank you very much.
    Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Laforest.
    Mr. Williams, seven minutes.
Mr. John Williams:
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First let me say how shocked I am to hear these statements by senior members of the RCMP who have come forward and in essence condemned their own organization for corruption, fraud, mismanagement, incompetence, and the list goes on. As you said, it's an icon of Canadian culture, a beacon around the world, and there looks to be something seriously wrong at the senior core of the organization. That shocks me, and I'm sure it shocks Parliament. I certainly hope, Mr. Chairman, that if we don't get to the bottom of this, we will be part of the process that finally gets to the bottom of this.
    I compliment you all for coming forward and speaking out against the esprit de corps of the organization, because you're doing what you feel is right. Therefore, I compliment you on that, because I know it can't be easy.
    Since this is coming out at this late stage, and I'm just going to go on to this, who was interviewed by the Auditor General on this?
    Mr. Frizzell, were you audited, or did you tell the Auditor General all of this?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes. They told me it was outside the scope of their audit.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay.
    Mr. Walker?
S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    No.
Mr. John Williams:
    You were not interviewed.
    Mr. Gork?
A/Commr David Gork:
    Yes.
Mr. John Williams:
    Did you give them fulsome answers?
A/Commr David Gork:
    I gave them fulsome answers, and I sent them e-mails from Lyon.
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Lewis?
S/Sgt Ron Lewis:
    Not only was I interviewed by them in November, as we all were, but I had been in contact with them for several years, because without their help this investigation wasn't going to be started. I had to contact them, the Treasury Board minister, and the minister of the day, Anne McLellan, because the investigation took another year to get started after it was stopped the first time, and I had to force a new investigation. So I was in contact with the OAG's department throughout the years.

  (1630)  

Mr. John Williams:
    This was actually a political intervention with the minister, Anne McLellan, who was the minister of whatever she was in cabinet, including deputy prime minister. You informed her of the problem?
S/Sgt Ron Lewis:
    I informed her, the Minister of the Treasury Board, who was Reg Alcock at the time, and the Auditor General herself with the same memo and a package of information to bring their attention to what was going on. Yes, that was required to get the investigation going a second time.
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Macaulay?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    Yes, I met with not the Auditor General herself, but her team, and by that time others had met with them. We had a lengthy discussion around the peripheral issues.
Mr. John Williams:
    Did you tell them the whole story?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I told them the whole story, and we agreed that once we got over the pleasantries of everything, we didn't give a full statement because it was out of their scope. That was very clear.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay.
    Ms. Revine?
Ms. Denise Revine:
    Yes. I went through three interviews. I provided them with an overview of all of the issues, the contracting irregularities, and the nepotism. I had all the details. I wrote them a letter to provide information about what I saw at the time as a cover-up and hiding the truth, and what was wrong.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay.
    Staff Sergeant Frizzell, you were removed, maybe not forcibly but certainly directly, from the investigation. According to this memo, you were given clear instructions by Inspector Paul Roy of the Ottawa Police Service, and then of course you were told by your senior officers it's time to close your door and get out of there. Who did you talk to before this? This didn't just come right out of the blue. What kinds of conversations did you have, and with whom did you have conversations, about it being time to wrap up this investigation and shut the thing down?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
     There were lots of conversations.
Mr. John Williams:
    You may start at the top and work down.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    I think it would be safe to say the majority of the RCMP investigators had serious concerns about the independence of this investigation. I wrote what we call a briefing note; it's just a concise...of what my issues were. I brought them up orally to Paul Roy. He told me to document them, so I did—
Mr. John Williams:
    Yes, but he was with the Ottawa police department.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes, sorry.
Mr. John Williams:
    I'm talking about in the RCMP, starting at the top.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    I'm headed there.
    He asked me to document them. I did. When I presented them--my briefing note documenting my concerns about the investigation--he told me he had been in touch with Mr. Gork. Mr. Gork was in Lyon at the time. He'd been in touch with Mr. Gork, and he had been ordered by Mr. Gork that nothing was to leave our office. I was a little confused at first. I was writing the briefing note for Mr. Roy to take to his chief.
Mr. John Williams:
    Who did he talk to?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Out of that, I ended up being sent to the deputy commissioner, Gary Loeppky at the time, I think the purpose of which was to tell me to let it die, but that's not the way the conversation went at all. What Mr. Loeppky told me was, “Now they'll have to do something. You guys have found lots; now they'll have to do something.” And unfortunately I had to say to Mr. Loeppky, “Who's 'they'? You're the second most powerful man in the RCMP--who is 'they'?”
    So yes, it went right to the--there's no doubt the commissioner was well aware—
Mr. John Williams:
    When you say “no doubt”, did you talk to the commissioner? Have you talked to Commissioner Zaccardelli?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    I have never spoken--I was given the choice of speaking to him or Mr. Loeppky, and I chose Mr. Loeppky.
Mr. John Williams:
    How about the current commissioner, Ms. Busson?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes, I have spoken to the current commissioner.
Mr. John Williams:
    Were you talking to her during this investigation? Did she talk to you before this?

  (1635)  

S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    No, not at all, just in the past couple of weeks.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay, just the past couple of weeks.
    Anybody else important at the top who steered you away or said go for it?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    No. I mean, the nature of investigation is you don't go blabbing around. That's why the idea of gag orders was ludicrous.
Mr. John Williams:
    Let me ask you this question. Again, I'll just go quickly down the line.
    You have an ethics commissioner within the RCMP and you're all talking about a serious breach of ethics and all kinds of things. Who went to the ethics commissioner here? Mr. Lewis, Mr. Macaulay, and Ms. Revine have gone.
    What kind of a response did you get from the ethics commissioner within the RCMP, Mr. Lewis?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    He was excellent. He was a very good supporter—
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay, well, then—
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    —however, he told me “go outside the RCMP, I can't do it either”. Then he resigned shortly afterwards.
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Macaulay.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I originally went to Mr. Spice and advised him of the findings that Ms. Revine was starting to uncover. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, he was the individual who released that information that I gave him to Barb George and to Assistant Commissioner Vern White at that time. The next thing I knew I was in the commissioner's office. That led up to the June 17 meeting.
Mr. John Williams:
    That was Commissioner Zaccardelli.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    Yes. But John Spice...when we met on September 23 with our internal auditors, he was struggling, and he kept telling us...not what he was telling wrong, but that this was going nowhere; he wasn't getting anywhere with the commissioner.
Mr. John Williams:
    Ms. Revine.
Ms. Denise Revine:
    I also met with the auditors on the same day. I think it was on September 25. What prompted the meeting was an e-mail I wrote to Chief Superintendent Macaulay. It was a lengthy, seven-page e-mail outlining all the issues and trying to appeal to the organization's moral conscience, basically, that something had to be done. It was dysfunctional, and people were receiving threats, and we had to bring this to a criminal investigation.
The Chair:
    I understand, Mr. Gork, you have a comment--I'm sorry, Assistant Commissioner Gork.
A/Commr David Gork:
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I have copies of the briefing note that Mr. Frizzell wrote and the response from the Ottawa Police Service.
     I think what has to be understood here is that an offer was made because Mr. Frizzell was not satisfied with the response he got either from Inspector Paul Roy nor from myself: did he wish to meet with Deputy Commissioner Gary Loeppky, who was an extremely respected senior officer of this organization. If you have any questions about it, I'm sure if you ask anybody who is sitting on this board here, he has the utmost respect of anybody in our organization. The arrangement was set up if he in fact wanted to go and meet with Deputy Commissioner Loeppky to identify any issues he had.
    If the board wishes, I am quite prepared to provide the briefing note from Mr. Frizzell and the response from the city police.
The Chair:
     Yes, if you'd table them with the clerk, we'll get them translated and will circulate them.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Williams.
    We're going to move on to Mr. Christopherson for seven minutes.
Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP):
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you all for your presentations today. I'm sure the government members are glad the opposition overrode their thinking at the last meeting and that we have had this meeting, because this is not the end of this.
    I don't want to be flippant about it, but I have to tell you, you hear enough of this, and the first thing you think of is, “Somebody call the police.” Then you realize the seriousness, the absurdity of it, that you have nowhere else to go but to come here. If anything, it underscores the absolute need both for the RCMP and, as a former Ontario Solicitor General I would also say, the OPP to have a public service board that oversees. Leaving it with just the minister is not enough. It's not enough distance, because that would be the next place you'd go after the commissioner. The only place higher in the whole organization is the minister, but you're still into the political realm.
    Hopefully certain folks will take a cue from this and look at it. Also, unionizing the RCMP would go a long way, because it would give them a lot of the heft they need.
    I want to come back to Chief Superintendent Macaulay. Just for the edification of everybody here, Chief Superintendent, would you please outline where you fit in, starting with the commissioner and going through the ranks?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    Do you mean where I fit in the organization?
Mr. David Christopherson:
    Yes.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    There is the commissioner, and then my boss is the deputy commissioner of operations and integration. Then I have a boss, an assistant commissioner, who's the director of community contract and aboriginal policing services, and I report to him.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    So you're fourth from the top.

  (1640)  

C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    That's correct.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    I wanted that out there for the simple reason...what you said earlier, the quote you gave—I'm going to ask you to mention it again—in which Deputy Commissioner George said to you, “You're an island.”
     I want to get this correct. Are you alleging she said, “You will not get the truth”—something like that? That's the phrase I'm interested in, sir.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    The exact quote is she advised that I was on an island by myself and that no one was going to tell the truth. We had a lengthy conversation on the issues and again ended up around the facts concerning my removal.
    Then she went on to explain to me how naive I had been to think that anyone was going to stand beside me in this type of situation and tell the truth.
    These are notes I took at the time—
Mr. David Christopherson:
    That was going to be my next question. I was going to ask you when you—
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    It was in 2004.
Mr. David Christopherson:
     I have to tell you, Chair, from my experience in the years I was connected with the police service in Ontario, either this chief superintendent deserves to be medalled for courage or his career is effectively over. That is one hell of a statement to make here in front of a parliamentary committee: that a deputy commissioner, as alleged by a chief superintendent, made the comments we've just heard.
    There's no doubt in my mind that we should start to be thinking about where we're going from here, because I think Mr. Williams is right when he indicates that this is far from over.
    I had a couple of other questions that came about, but if I can, Chair, I want to defer my time to Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, who is much more familiar with the details and can probably utilize the last couple of minutes better than I.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, CPC)):
    I will permit that.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Thank you, Chair, and I'd also like to thank my colleague from the NDP.
    What we've heard is that some people claimed, Staff Sergeant Mike Frizzell, that you were harassing individuals within the RCMP, because you were trying to put forward information that during the ongoing investigation, over half a million dollars—I believe about $600,000—was in fact once again improperly pulled out of the insurance funds.
     I understand there may be an audio recording, which you referred to earlier, that makes clear what exactly it was that you said some people had said was harassing.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes. I only found out about the harassing thing recently. If I'd known about it at the time, I would have demanded an investigation. That's a heck of a thing to have hanging over your head.
    This is a recording of me calling someone who then later got Ms. George chasing down Mr. Gork to have me removed for harassment. Did you want me to play the...?

  (1645)  

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick):
    If you could.
    [Audio Presentation]
Rosalie Burton: Barb, it's Rosalie here, calling at 8:45 on Monday morning. As per our discussion on Friday, I'm sending you this voice mail, but Lisa has transcribed it, and I'll send it to you over in an email, which will probably make it easier. In the email I'll address some of what he said here, but this is for your information so it's saved on more than one system. Thanks.
Mike Frizzell: Hi Rosalie, it's Mike Frizzell. Thanks for your call. I guess I get to talk to your voicemail now. As far as the meeting goes, it wasn't me, actually, who wanted the meeting. There is a fair amount getting lost in the translation here. What I wanted to make sure everybody understood was that our report will show that the insurance outsourcing and the money coming out of the plans instead of the RCMP, was done through deceit and fraud and if, once that goes public we're asked as investigators, “has this practice stopped” I was hoping to be able to say “yes, as soon as RCMP senior management became aware of it, it ended instantly and it was corrected.” As it stands now, all we'll be able to say is “no actually, the practice continues and in fact senior management took another 1/2 million dollars out of the insurance funds just the other day.” I don't think that reflects well on the organization and I don't think it'll cause...I think it will cause some pretty substantial issues, is what I think, and my understanding of the meeting we had a while back there with Mr. Gauvin seems to be substantially different than what other people there heard. So, I am confused, I'm distressed and basically put in a position where we have to say that what started through a criminal act is ongoing and seemingly condoned by senior management That is not what I wanted to have to say. If any of this made sense or if it doesn't you're welcome to give me a call back. I'm at 949-3769. Thank you.

The Chair:
     Mr. Wrzesnewskyj is next. He has six and a half minutes left on this next round.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Staff Sergeant, we have a recording of this now. If we could also get a transcription of that and a copy of that, although it is recorded now....
    You were trying to red flag an ongoing situation. While the criminal investigation was taking place, another over half million dollars being pulled out of the insurance funds. Someone has interpreted that as being harassment, and consequently we appear to have all the evidence.
    We have e-mails tabled here today that Deputy Commissioner Barb George made calls to a number of assistant commissioners, after you had raised the red flag, to have you removed from the investigation. Mr. Gork was contacted in France, and I guess he gave the actual order.
    Mr. Frizzell, during this investigation, top officials of the RCMP appointed by Mr. Zaccardelli, such as Mr. Ewanovich, were under investigation. Was the commissioner kept up to speed by briefings by anyone present today?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    I only know of one briefing that Mr. Gork gave the commissioner. I don't know of any others.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    I see. So we have a situation where we have a criminal investigation going on. Its net has now captured individuals appointed by Mr. Zaccardelli. This is the second investigation. The first one, when he caught wind of it, we heard from the new commissioner, he shut down two days into it. From what we hear, it took a year and amazing efforts in a very difficult environment--amazing efforts from a number of our officers--to finally get another investigation going.
    Yet the very people affected by the investigation, which was supposed to be at arm's length and run by another police force...we had briefings being provided to the very people affected by the investigation. Is that a fair assumption?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
     That's it in a nutshell.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
    Mr. Gork, is there...?
A/Commr David Gork:
    I'm sorry, I have to address that point.
    The commissioner and the senior executive of the RCMP were briefed in June--after the investigation was over, after the report had been provided to the commissioner. This was long after the resources, the crown attorney and so on, had gone through the investigation and said there were no charges. We still ended up where we had a number of issues that were internal issues at that time that I was identifying that had to be investigated, and that was a briefing that was given to all of SEC at that particular time.
Mr. John Williams:
    I have a point of order.
    Mr. Gork referred to the month of June, but can you tell us what year that was?
A/Commr David Gork:
    It was 2005.
The Chair:
    Thank you.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Mr. Chair, I have also brought some documents that I would like to table and pass on to you for translation surrounding the leaves of Mr. Ewanovitch and Mr. Crupi. They show that they benefited from fraudulent leave claims, and then records after the fact were accessed to in fact cover this up.
    Mr. Gork, who appointed Mr. Ewanovitch?
A/Commr David Gork:
    I assume it was the commissioner. I don't know. I wasn't present.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    What sort of relationship did Deputy Commissioner Barb George have with Commissioner Zaccardelli?
A/Commr David Gork:
    You'd have to ask her that.
    Again, I worked at TPOF, which is a long way from the headquarters building.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Perhaps Staff Sergeant Frizzell could add to that.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    I just wanted to address the last question.
    I have an e-mail here dated October 8, 2004:
For your info, the Assistant Commissioner has to meet the Commissioner on October 20 for an update on the investigation.
    There is another e-mail to Mr. Gork from his secretary:
Sir, I have confirmed your attendance. Inspector Paul Roy has been notified and will be preparing briefing material [for you] prior to the meeting.
    This was while the investigation was well under way.

  (1650)  

A/Commr David Gork:
    That was to ensure we had the funding coming out of the proper budgets. I went to the commissioner and asked him if I could take the funding for this investigation out of my TPOF budget, because I had no other money—
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Sir, are there transcriptions of your meetings with the commissioner?
A/Commr David Gork:
    They were maybe three minutes long; there are no transcripts. There was no briefing as to this is who they're investigating. Frankly, I didn't know who they were investigating. It was to get the funding to support the investigators.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Would you agree that it would have been wise not to have been communicating in any way whatsoever in a criminal investigation that was potentially leading right into the commissioner's office, that it would have been wise not to have been meeting with the commissioner and discussing any issues whatsoever surrounding the investigation?
A/Commr David Gork:
    I am sorry, sir. I had to get my funding to pay for this investigation. This investigation came out of my directorate budget.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Sir, I'm having a hard time understanding how this could have been an Ottawa police investigation, an arm's-length Ottawa police investigation. Sir, you chose the investigating officers. There were in fact how many officers investigating this?
A/Commr David Gork:
    First off, I did not choose them. What I did—
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Sir, how many officers—
A/Commr David Gork:
    I went out to the divisions....
    Mr. Chair, he has asked me a question. I would like to respond to it. He said I chose the—
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    The question was how many officers were on this investigation.
A/Commr David Gork:
    It was a total of about 17 or 18 officers. I went out to the divisions and asked the divisions to provide resources to us. They sent us in the names and the people. We got who we could possibly get. We didn't go through and do any type of an evaluation as to who was coming in.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    When you decided to fire investigators--remove them from the investigation--whose decision was that?
A/Commr David Gork:
    That was Inspector Paul Roy's. He contacted me in Lyon, not Barb George. He sent me an e-mail. He said he had a problem. I called him. Inspector Paul Roy told me the problem he had at that time and asked for Mr. Frizzell to be removed. That is why we requested that we have Inspector Roy here.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Sir, I have an e-mail that I tabled from one of your colleagues, another assistant commissioner. It clearly states that Deputy Commissioner Barb George had contacted him, another assistant commissioner, and yourself to have Mr. Frizzell removed.
A/Commr David Gork:
    Again, as I said, I would request that you have Inspector Paul Roy here and ask him that question. It was Inspector Paul Roy who contacted me—
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    I'm asking you if Barb George called—
A/Commr David Gork:
    No, she did not. I'm telling you who contacted me. It was Inspector Paul Roy who contacted me, not Barb George.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    So Barb George did not call you to have Mr. Frizzell removed?
A/Commr David Gork:
    No, she did not. Inspector Paul Roy contacted me to have him removed. I would request that you contact or have Inspector Paul Roy here and ask him that question.
The Chair:
     Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, your time is up. Do you want to continue?
    Okay. We're going to move on.
    I want to thank you, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, and thank you, Assistant Commissioner Gork.
    Mr. Sweet, for seven minutes.
Mr. David Sweet (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, CPC):
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Staff Sergeant Frizzell, on questioning Commissioner Busson, I challenged her on a statement in which she said no damage was done to the pension fund. Today you're saying that is in fact not the case.
    Let me see if I can find her exact words for you.
    You'll have to take the essence of it. Would you say it's not the case?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    What I was referring to today were the insurance funds.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Okay. But you also said money was actually being moved and appropriated from the pension fund to the insurance fund. Didn't you say that?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes, the money most certainly was moved. The half million dollars I was speaking about was the money taken out of the insurance plans to pay back the pension.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Okay. She actually said the money was never appropriated from the fund to the point where members of the RCMP would lose their benefits.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    It's semantics. It's a guaranteed benefit plan.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Yes. In fact, it would be the taxpayers who would have to top up any funds that were misappropriated, wouldn't it?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Yes.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Assistant Commissioner Gork, a criminal investigation began and then was very quickly shut down.
    The last time we were here, we had the chief of the Ottawa police. I asked him, if he was going to investigate his own department, wouldn't he go through a lot of hand-wringing about the decision to do so?
    Can you tell me why an investigation was called and then was shut down immediately within days?

  (1655)  

A/Commr David Gork:
    No, I can't give you information on that. I wasn't personally involved. I was advised of it after the fact.
    When I had a request to look at setting up a criminal investigation, I immediately met with Deputy Commissioner Loeppky, and we had a meeting. At the meeting, it was decided we should not run this investigation. We needed to have the OPS in to run the investigation, not the RCMP.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Okay. If that's the case, why was it months until the Ottawa Police Service was called?
    Mr. Lewis, I'm then going to get to your comment.
A/Commr David Gork:
    My understanding is that it wasn't months. From the time I was involved with it, when I was first asked, I met with Deputy Commissioner Loeppky within a day or two days.
    At that point, he met with the chief of the Ottawa Police Service to ask for their resources for whatever time it took them to start putting the resources in place, which was about a couple of weeks, to the time it took us to get resources in. It started immediately from the time we received the request.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Mr. Lewis.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Yes, Mr. Sweet, I have direct knowledge of it. I was involved in both criminal investigations, and I made both formal complaints.
    On May 28, 2003, I went to the commissioner personally in his office. I gave him the information about the pension fund misappropriations, plus other issues that may have been internal issues, such as harassment, abuse of authority, and so on.
    He instructed me at that time to go to the commanding officer of A Division to start an investigation, and I have the documents, which will be tabled. At that time, it was Assistant Commissioner Ghyslaine Clément, because she was responsible for criminal operations in the Ottawa area.
    I did it through a formal written complaint, because I'd learned before that when I do things verbally they get twisted. I made a written formal complaint, which is in my documents, on June 5, 2003.
    He told me at the time that he would contact me within a week on the other issues. On June 25, which was now three days short of a month, he had not called me. I sent him a message asking why he didn't get back to me.
    He called me on June 26, 2003, and he said he would have Assistant Commissioner Spice review the other allegations. I said that was fine and he'd do a good job. He then said he'd stopped the investigation. I was shocked, because he was the commissioner of the RCMP. I'd never seen the commissioner of the RCMP stop a criminal investigation. I've been in the force 35 years, and I've never seen it happen before.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Mr. Lewis, one moment.
    Mr. Macaulay, is that correct? Is it absolutely unheard of for someone to begin an investigation and then end it?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    At that level, I have never heard that a commissioner stopped one.
Mr. David Sweet:
    Okay. Thank you.
    Go on, Mr. Lewis.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
     So I said, “What are you doing that for?” And he said, “Well, I'm going to do an internal audit.” Well, knowing the internal audit process, I said that as soon as they find wrongdoing--and we knew they had it, because Chief Superintendent Macaulay and Denise Revine had provided documentation, plenty of documentation--they're going to have to stop and continue with the proper investigation, which would be internal or criminal. And he said, yes, that's what would happen.
     So it went on. It went on all summer. In October, at the end of October, the audit report came out. There was serious wrongdoing. That's on the record as well.
    Now I have an added problem, because now I find out that the assistant commissioner I went to, who's the only person on the force I can go to to start a criminal investigation, is now implicated. We found out during the summer that she is now under investigation, or would have been.
Mr. David Sweet:
    And this is...?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    This is Assistant Commissioner Gessie Clément.
    So now I have no avenue. I have to find another avenue to get this investigation going again. My contact, coincidentally, happened to be Assistant Commissioner Barb George, while she was the chief superintendent at the time, and we had been dealing with other matters. I said, “Okay, I have a problem. We have to get this thing going. What's going to happen?” “The audit's not going to happen.”
    I went to another very senior officer. He said, “Nothing's going to happen.” I went to the ethics advisor and integrity officer. He said, “Nothing's going to happen.”
    So here I am, I'm thinking, is this the RCMP that I know? It's not. I can't get anybody who's in authority to start it up, because they can't do it.
    So I sent a message through Barb George to the commissioner saying that if there is no discipline in this action after the result of this audit, the people I'm representing are going public.
    Within days, Dominic Crupi, the OIC in NCPC, which is the National Compensation Policy Centre, and the chief human resources officer, Jim Ewanovich, were relieved of their duties. But they weren't fired. They weren't suspended. They were sent home on full pay, which is contrary to all policy in government.
    Well, I waited another three weeks. What about the investigation? I still have no route to get an investigation going because the assistant commissioner is involved as well.
    So what happened then is that I went back to Barb George. I said, “Okay, you can tell the commissioner that if there's no investigation, it will go public.” As a result, she said, “Okay, put it in writing, and we'll work it through somehow.”
    Denise Revine put a heck of a report together. She worked right through Christmas. We presented it in writing, with my covering memo and with the allegations and the action required, on January 5, 2004. Nothing happened.
     All of a sudden, that report was leaked. Somehow it was leaked internally. I was a little concerned, because I was figuring, what's the purpose of this leak? I don't know, because it was in only a very few hands.
    I went, then, to the Auditor General, as I mentioned, the Minister of Treasury Board, and our minister at the time.
    Finally, I think it was in March, I met with Assistant Commissioner Gork. Then on May 4, which was almost a year later, the criminal investigation was started. And that's how the two investigations.... One got stopped and the other one got started. But it took me a year and a lot of tough, tough decisions to get it done. And then we heard that it was never really fully completed. That's not my personal knowledge, but that's what I've been told.

  (1700)  

The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Mr. Sweet. Thank you Staff Sergeant Lewis.
    That concludes, colleagues, the first round.
    We're going to go to the second round. It's going to be a little abbreviated, although we can go into the bells for a few minutes, I suppose.
    I have one question to you, Assistant Commissioner Gork.
    This situation is very complicated, and it's complex. It seems to me that we're dealing with a cover-up. A lot of times it's like Watergate; the cover-up is worse than the crime. It's getting such that I'm scared that the next person to walk through that door is going to be the ghost of Richard Nixon.
    The bottom line is that we've had a horrendous situation, and there's been malfeasance at the highest level. There's been $3.1 million--and I'm just going to be very succinct--that had to be repaid by the RCMP. And you say it's the RCMP, but it's really the taxpayers of Canada. There's been a lot of fairly substantiated allegations of wrongdoing. Whether this wrongdoing was criminal, whether it was civil or administrative, the bottom line is that nobody in the RCMP has been sanctioned criminally or civilly. There's been no action to get the money back. There's been nobody administratively sanctioned. Nobody has lost their job, no one has been suspended, no one has gotten a written reprimand. It's almost as if this was a bad dream, that it didn't happen. It just didn't happen. That's how the RCMP is treating it.
    This hearing today is televised. What do you say to the Canadian taxpayers?
A/Commr David Gork:
     It's certainly a difficult lead-in.
    I guess what I would say to the Canadian taxpayers is this. In my belief, the Ottawa Police Service, using the RCMP resources, did an excellent investigation. Does that mean there were other extenuating investigations that may or may not have been started? You'd have to talk to the OPS about that and review the report.
    At the end of day, what you have is 26,000, 24,000 men and women out there still doing their damnedest to make this a fine organization, and they're doing a hell of a job of it.
    There have been some issues. Some of them have been identified here today, and I'm not trying to gloss them over. There are people who are no longer with the organization. Let's be quite honest about it; there are people who are gone now.
    As far as I'm concerned, what you're dealing with is you have a new commissioner who's in place and issues are being dealt with. Nobody is 100% perfect in any organization, and we had an issue where at a particular moment in a particular time, and I have to agree with Ron on this, we took somebody in. Now, our organization is based on trust. We took someone in at the highest level, someone who shouldn't have been trusted, and that malfeasance filtered down. What you end up with is people following the type of example that's set. That's why it's so critical to have the people with the greatest integrity in positions of authority, and we didn't have it in that situation.

  (1705)  

The Chair:
    Before we go to the second round, I just hope that none of my comments are construed to reflect on any of the 26,000 members, because I have the highest respect.
     I know in this situation you took somebody in and there was malfeasance, but the point I'm making is the RCMP failed miserably to properly investigate and to administer whatever sanctions had to be there, whether they be criminally, civilly, administratively. There was absolutely zilch done.
    As for those people who you talked about, who are gone from the force, they retired with honour, they retired with full pay, and they're watching the show and they're laughing at us now because there's nothing we can do about it. I'm sure if I asked you, you probably wouldn't know the answer, but I'm sure they got their bonus pay when all this was going on too. I'm sure they did.
    Let me go to the second round because I don't want to monopolize—
A/Commr David Gork:
    Mr. Chair, I'm sorry for interrupting. You did say that nothing was done. A criminal investigation was done; the Crown said no charges. There were screw-ups with the time for the internal applications, and I certainly admit that there were.
    As far as I am concerned, it deals with dates, and that's problematic, because any member of the RCMP, no matter when you commit something, should be responsible for it forever, not just for a one-year window of opportunity to deal with it.
The Chair:
    Okay. We're going to go to the second round, for three minutes, colleagues. Unfortunately, I apologize, I'm going to have to be hard on the time, because if I'm not, I'm going to penalize the people at the end of it.
    Ms. Sgro, for three minutes.
Hon. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.):
    Would you just quickly clarify what you meant when you said you took someone in and the malfeasance went downward? Would you quickly clarify that?
A/Commr David Gork:
     I don't care what organization it is. You take your cue from the person above you. If your supervisor is totally corrupt, after a while you're going to start becoming corrupt. You may not even see it as corruption; you may not even see it as a bad way; they're getting things done expeditiously.
    We took in somebody at a very senior level who did not have the envelope of trust that they would normally grow within the RCMP. That person was corrupt, in my estimation, and it filtered down with the people who he had working under his authority.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    And who is that person you're referring to, Mr. Gork?
A/Commr David Gork:
    Mr. Jim Ewanovich.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    And who appointed him?
A/Commr David Gork:
    I assume it was Commissioner Zaccardelli.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    May I quickly say to all of you, the amount of respect that I have for the RCMP, as all of us, as parliamentarians and Canadians.... I have to applaud the courage of all of you to come forward and make a difference. This is an organization that we love and respect, and I'm extremely disappointed at what we've heard, but I also appreciate very much what you're doing.
    I have a question for Mr. Walker.
    When did the irregularities with the insurance administration first surface in OPS in the RCMP investigation? Do you recall at what point?
S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    Yes. We came across them one afternoon in July 2004, when we were reviewing documentation out of the RCMP audit report. A memo was pulled out and I read it, and it was at that point in time we became curious in regard to the insurance cited. It was in a letter of agreement between the chair of the insurance committee and the chair of the pension advisory committee that was done without knowledge of the committees themselves. It was an agreement between two of them, where they would take moneys out to help pay for the administration costs for the insurance of pensioners.
    So at that point in time we jumped on this to say, “There has to be something else here”, and that's when the insurance came into play.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
     In your opening statement you mentioned borderline criminal activity.
S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    Yes, I did. The joint OPS-RCMP investigation surfaced allegations and reasonable suspicion that there were decisions made to intentionally circumvent the policies and process that were put in place in the checks and balances that the Government of Canada expects of all their agencies.
    We look back, as I said before, to a breach of the Financial Administration Act, Treasury Board directives, and all those things.
    The cases would be put together, and yes, we did speak to the provincial Crown during this process, but they won't prosecute if they don't feel there's reasonable opportunity for a successful conclusion.
    When I say “borderline”, it doesn't make it administrative. There can be criminal activity that's conducted. It's no different from where we know somebody has done something wrong, whether it's in the drug world or whatever. You see it; if you don't have the proof, we can't charge, but that still does make it criminal in nature.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    Thank you.
The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Ms. Sgro.
    Mr. Poilievre, you have three minutes.

  (1710)  

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC):
    Mr. Lewis, on what date did you contact Ministers Alcock and McLellan?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    It was on February 16, 2004.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    And what information did you share with them?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Actually, you have the information. I sent it to you.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    Can you summarize?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Well, it's about a 60-page document, but basically the document I sent to your office outlined all the problems with the investigation, which I've imparted to you here today.
    Just to make sure it's on the official record, I've taken the same document that I sent to your office and I've tabled it. So it's the whole story, basically—the inaction, the lies, the obstruction, the delays, and the actual allegations, what they were, how much money is involved, the whole story.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    How did they respond?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
     I asked them to pass it on to the Office of the Auditor General. Then I was in contact with them, and I believe—Mr. Gork can confirm this—the Auditor General required the RCMP to brief the OAG on a bimonthly basis.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    But the two ministers, though, don't direct the Auditor General. What was their reaction? What action did they take?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    There was no response from them.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    There was no response from either of the ministers?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    No. And then later I wrote to Mrs. Bloodworth because I was concerned, later on in the investigation, that still things were happening that didn't appear right. I had no response.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    So the ministers who were responsible for this—for example, the public security minister at the time—
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Yes.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    —who was the minister responsible for this particular file—
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Yes.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    —did not take any action when you informed her.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Well, I don't know. All I can say is I had no contact with—
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    But she didn't respond to you.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    No response.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    There was no response whatsoever?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    No.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    She didn't call or didn't have anyone contact you from her office to ascertain any of the facts--nothing whatsoever?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    That's correct. However, I do have a copy of Hansard where she was questioned. I can't remember the members at this time. It could have been Sorenson and Anderson from maybe out west. I don't know if anybody is here....
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    Right.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    They questioned her at the time, why she wasn't investigating the Commissioner of the RCMP, and I believe her response was—and I'm just paraphrasing—well, there's no reason to.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    So she thought there was no reason to investigate.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Well, all I can say is that I read that in the Hansard. I don't know what her thoughts were.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    The alleged, or obvious, improprieties related to the pension program. During what years did they occur?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    I think others would maybe be better suited to respond. I think it was around 2000 that they started it, and when it was finally stopped, when they stopped the money, was in about 2003, when I first made the complaint. There was another $14 million that was allocated, and I think they pulled that back, but $40 million was spent by that time.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    But it was between 2000 and 2004, give or take?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    That was between 2000 and 2003. But the project kept going and is still ongoing today.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    Right.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    But I think once the audit report was done, in around 2003, a lot of things were stopped. A lot of contracting was stopped.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    Okay.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Except for the insurance. They just kept on doing the same old thing with the insurance.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
    Okay. Thank you.
The Chair:
    Madame Brunelle, vous avez trois minutes.

[Translation]

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ):
    Good afternoon.
    Mr. Macaulay, you said that $30 million had been spent over three years and that the Auditor General's report covered only one year. In your opinion, was this $30 million spent fraudulently?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I would not say that all of the $30 million was spent fraudulently. For us, the problem was that we discovered contracts and expenditures incurred before 2003 and 2002, when the internal auditor did his audit. We are not sure that the expenditures incurred during the two preceding years had been included. No one checked into that.
Ms. Paule Brunelle:
    You say that the money went from pension plans to individuals, and that 21 people were definitely involved. Do you have any evidence of that?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I think Mr. Gork is in the best position to talk about these 21 individuals. He is the person who gave the report to the commissioner and to senior management. As to the money taken by those involved, as far as we are concerned, this matter is very clear. People were making a lot of money and were hiring their children or all sorts of others to cut costs. It was not direct, but money was ending up in their pockets.

  (1715)  

Ms. Paule Brunelle:
    Are these people still working for the RCMP?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    Some are and others are not.
Ms. Paule Brunelle:
    Mr. Gork, 21 people may have been involved in illegal or fraudulent activities. May we have some proof of that? Were these matters revealed by one of the investigations?

[English]

A/Commr David Gork:
     First off, I'd have to go back to the OPS criminal investigation, and to whatever evidence was taken to the crown attorney, who felt there was not enough evidence to lay criminal charges.
    As for the internal aspect, one of the things about dealing with internal investigations is that it depends on who knew what at what particular time, and then the clock starts running, which is different from the way things work with criminal charges. So once somebody in authority might have known what transpired, or should have known, they would have one year to lay charges under the RCMP Act. It's very restrictive. You've got a one-year window.
    I cannot speak to who knew what at what particular time, with regard to the internals. The only thing I can tell you is that there was reason, if those time limits had not been exploded, to be able to lay charges under the RCMP Act.

[Translation]

Ms. Paule Brunelle:
    Am I mistaken to say that some of these people are still employed by the RCMP?

[English]

A/Commr David Gork:
    I believe you're correct.

[Translation]

Ms. Paule Brunelle:
    Thank you.

[English]

The Chair:
    Okay. Merci beaucoup, Madame Brunelle.
    Mr. Williams, you have three minutes.
Mr. John Williams:
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Did the Auditor General give any of the people who were interviewed by her a reason as to why she said it's not within the scope of her investigation?
     Mr. Macaulay, you talked to her.
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    No. We just discussed—
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Lewis?
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    Yes. Because I had spent so much time over a three- or four-year period dealing with them, I was able to ask them how it was going to turn out. I got the impression that I might not be happy with the end result, because they can't really state certain things, but if you want to get the truth out, get a parliamentary hearing.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay, well, you're getting a parliamentary—
Mr. Ron Lewis:
    That's right, because I sent a document to all you members.
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Frizzell, you talked to the Auditor General. Did she give you any reason why this wasn't all going to hang out to dry?
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Those are standard audit principles. They set down a scope. The scope was merely to make sure the RCMP had responded to its internal audit.
Mr. John Williams:
    Mr. Walker, you talked to the Auditor General too, didn't you?
S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    My conversation with the Auditor General took place after the report had been released.
Mr. John Williams:
    Okay. There is no question, Mr. Chairman, that this has gone far beyond the Auditor General's report. We have minutes of meetings being falsified. We have Treasury Board guidelines on tendering processes being bypassed and ignored. We're hearing allegations--I presume more than allegations, confirmations--that half-million-dollar cheques have been written out of the fund, that outsourcing was covered up to make it look like it didn't have to be done.
    Mr. Chairman, maybe not at this point in time, but at your discretion, I would move that we take half an hour when we come back on the 16th of April, at our next meeting, to go in camera and decide what we're going to do with this. This is going to, I think, require a complete investigation to restore the public's confidence in the RCMP. These are not junior officers. These are the most senior officers of the force making the most serious of allegations, and this has to be addressed at the earliest opportunity.
The Chair:
     Thank you, Mr. Williams. I'll take your motion as notice and we will deal with it.
    Mr. Christopherson, three minutes.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    Thank you, Chair.
    Picking up on Mr. Williams' last point, I concur that we need to be giving some serious thought as to how we proceed, and it may be that the proceedings are initiated by us but that we aren't the ones who do it. I mean, this is big, and I agree that we have to restore the faith that the public has in the RCMP, but what I'm hearing is that we need to restore the faith in the rank and file of the RCMP as well, that it is the institution they believe it is and that they commit themselves to.
    Quite frankly, also, given that everything so far is pretty much allegations, if people are being wronged here, we need to make sure that anyone who has been innocently put in a context of potentially being alleged of wrongdoing can get their name cleared. That's how far along we've gone here. But I will utilize my moment just to ask a couple of questions to follow up.
    I believe--Chief Superintendent Macaulay, it may have been you, or was that Mr. Walker who made reference to an OPP report--that there was an OPP report that gave an example of similar problems? I just wanted to see whether that was something we need to be aware of here.

  (1720)  

S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    Yes. Early in the investigation we were made aware that there had been a previous investigation into financial improprieties and wrongdoings in regard to contract and procurement issues and a host of other things that in 2001 were investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police. Part of that investigation included the contracting procurement issue relating to renovations to the commissioner's office, and some sanction did come out of that. So we looked at that to try to see some rationale as to why it occurred again.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    Did that focus on what we heard earlier? I'm just trying to see where we go with this from here. Is it only the director of the NCPC? This is somebody else who would be responsible for these issues? These persons of interest did not include that person?
S/Sgt Steve Walker:
    Yes.
Mr. Ron Lewis:
     I'm the complainant in that investigation as well. It seems that a lot of my duties were labour relations. It seemed that a lot of my duties became investigation.
    What happened was that in 2001 an assistant commissioner in the RCMP complained openly in an e-mail to all his employees that they were accepting privileges from contractors, which is not only a Criminal Code offence under section 121 but a violation of government conflict regulations, the code of conduct—the whole thing.
     Mr. Gauvin, who was the comptroller or chief financial officer of the RCMP at that time chastised him openly for raising the issue.
    Then I was asked to come in when, after he left the unit, four sergeants were asked to dig into it, and on a Monday morning they were brought in and told, “Your unit's being disbanded.” They asked when. It usually takes a month or two to clear up. He said, “No, today, right now. It's over.”
    They came to me, and I went to the commissioner, through our national executive, and passed on the information to the commissioner that the deputy commissioner had failed under Regulation 46 to cause an investigation when reported, and nothing was done.
    So I wrote a formal, written complaint, because I had dealt with the commissioner before, and when I do things verbally he doesn't seem to remember. So I brought the complaint to the assistant commissioner in A Division, and as he read it, he looked at me and said, “Gee, I'm involved too.” He eventually resigned. I get back to the old story: this is not the RCMP I joined; it changed five years ago.
    As a result, I forced the investigation to go beyond this member, because he couldn't deal with it then, and he was the only person in the RCMP who had authority to deal with it.
    It was turned over to the OPP. They came in and investigated. Nineteen people were either charged criminally or internally; some resigned before they were charged. Included were our chief financial officer, Mr. Gauvin, and our chief human resource officer, Mr. Ewanovich. Mr. Ewanovich at that time was a TCE, what we call a temporary civilian employee on contract. He could have been let go without cause, and we had cause. In fact, when he was hired the year before, while he was being interviewed for a suitability security clearance, he caused an investigation to be conducted against him for harassment. It was founded. An assistant commissioner and a staff sergeant conducted it. Staffing said don't hire him. The commissioner hired him anyway. That's when our problems began. He came in under.... He's the guy in charge of the RCMP policy for harassment, and he was a harasser, a founded harasser. It's incredible that these things were allowed to happen.
    There's a similar.... The same people involved in this pension insurance, the same.... And some of them are still here today. Some of the people who were under investigation were removed from their positions because they couldn't be allowed to stay in there. Once the limitation of action expired, they were back on the job. They're out there right now commanding divisions.
    That's why we're here today. We need some action there.

  (1725)  

The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Mr. Lewis.
    Thank you, Mr. Christopherson.
    Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    On a point of order, Chair, I'd like to seek unanimous consent for a motion that has been circulated.
    The motion reads:
    
It is most evident from today’s proceedings that there is still significant testimony which must be presented to the Public Accounts Committee in order for the committee to have a full and complete account of the serious issues of potential perjury, fraud, and interference in criminal investigations surrounding the findings of the Auditor General in Chapter 9 of the Auditor General’s Report of November 2006 – Pension and Insurance Administration – Royal Canadian Mounted Police and previous testimony provided to this committee by senior RCMP officials. Consequently, I move that the following persons be asked to appear as witnesses before the Public Accounts Committee on April 16, 2007:
    
Paul Gauvin, Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Management and Comptrollership - RCMP
    
Rosalie Burton former Director General HR – RCMP (Presently Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Corporate HR Policies, Strategies and Programs)
    
Deputy Commissioner Barbara George - RCMP
    
Former Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli – RCMP
The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj.
    Before this goes any further, does Mr. Wrzesnewskyj have unanimous consent for the tabling of this motion?
Mr. John Williams:
    I don't think so, Mr. Chairman. I'd rather deal with it, as I said, in camera at a later date.
The Chair:
    Okay.
Mr. John Williams:
    It's not that I'm opposed to it. I'm just saying let's be a little more rational and reasonable as we move forward.
The Chair:
    Okay. We'll take your motion on notice, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    I'd like to propose an amendment to that motion.
The Chair:
    No. I'd rather deal with it at the time, Ms. Sgro, because—
Hon. Judy Sgro:
     It's a friendly amendment. I'd like to add two other names to that list: Dominic Crupi and Jim Ewanovich.
The Chair:
    Okay, that's fine. There's no problem. We can do that.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    I accept that as a friendly amendment, Mr. Chair.
The Chair:
    Mr. Rodriguez, three minutes.

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez:
    I'd just like to clarify one point.
    Mr. Lewis, you spoke about a document that you had sent to Mr. Poilievre. I assume it was sent to all committee members. If so, when was it sent?

[English]

Mr. Ron Lewis:
    I sent the documents to all the members of the committee at that time--I notice there are some new faces here and that some have disappeared--on the 16th of November, which is five months ago maybe. I also sent them to every member on the public safety committee, because I wasn't sure who was going to deal with it. Because that committee oversees the RCMP, I felt they should know too. When I talked to them, they said this committee is handling it. All members of both committees received a copy.

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez:
    Did you follow up with committee members, or did you simply send the document?

[English]

Mr. Ron Lewis:
     I didn't actually talk to any of the committee members, if I recall, but I talked to a lot of their legislative assistants--if that is the proper title--and also to some other members who took a keen interest, such as the ones who were mentioned in Hansard. I think I connected with three of those people as well.
    I notice there are a lot of people on double committees too.

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez:
    It just seems so flagrant to me. It is even surprising that so much time passed before we reached this point today. I think what we are talking about today is likely a bombshell.
    Mr. Macaulay, if we were to calculate all the money that may have been diverted or at least the money about which there is a problem today, what would be the approximate total?

[English]

C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I cannot tell you. I was in at the very early stages. Denise Revine was giving me documents, and we were working our way through it. Once I was sent to the Department of National Defence, my only link back was mostly through Denise.

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez:
    Does anyone have any idea about the amount, or a ballpark figure?
    No? Then we will have to find that out.
    Someone said that Mr. Paul Gauvin was almost constantly in a conflict of interest situation. One of the first people who spoke said that. Was that you, Mr. Lewis?

[English]

Mr. Ron Lewis:
    One of my recommendations, number three on my opening statement..... If you look at 9.51, I believe it is, of the OAG report, chapter 9, it recommends many things, but one of them was for the RCMP to review the charging principles. I guess they deal with Treasury Board to allocate money. After the charging principles are determined, then look back at the insurance fund and see how much was taken properly.
    Mr. Gauvin was in charge--he still is in charge--of finance. He was the one who took it out in the first place. It's like asking the fox to go in and count the chickens after he has been accused of eating them. It's ridiculous. Somebody else has to look into this.

  (1730)  

[Translation]

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez:
    And Mr. Gauvin is still there. Is that correct?

[English]

Mr. Ron Lewis:
    That's right...to this day. This is the second time he has been involved in a criminal investigation. It's the second time.
The Chair:
    Thank you very much, Mr. Rodriguez.
     Mr. Fitzpatrick, three minutes.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    I have some short questions, just to tie a few things up.
    You said there was a person who came into the operation that you weren't happy with, Mr. Gork. My impression is that he was a bad apple. It was the chief commissioner who appointed this fellow...Iwonchuk or something?
A/Commr David Gork:
    Ewanovich.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    Do you know where he came from? Is he an RCMP person? What was his background?
    Try to keep it short if you could.
A/Commr David Gork:
    I believe he came in from Public Works or Treasury Board; I'm not sure which. He was not RCMP.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    I want to go to Chief Superintendent Macaulay. He alluded to some person who came in to a situation.... You said political patronage. Who was this person? Are you talking about internal RCMP politics, or is there something more to this?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    This was Rosalie Burton. Rosalie Burton worked with Jim Ewanovich. She eventually ended up at Nortel. He bridged her into a position, a direct hiring, with the RCMP, through Barb George.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    So neither of these people were RCMP? They were just kind of pushed into the system?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    Correct.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    Okay. Thank you very much.
    We're an accountability committee. Unfortunately, we're not a court of law. I think a lot of these matters should have been before a court of law, not before a parliamentary committee. To me, they sound pretty darn serious.
     But we are a committee of accountability, and first of all, before we can hold anybody accountable, we have to find out where the buck stops and who is responsible.
    I am reading your opinion, Chief Superintendent Macaulay, that the buck stopped with the person who was in charge of the RCMP at that time, Commissioner Zaccardelli. Is that a correct assumption on my part?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
     Absolutely, sir. He was the gentleman to whom both Ron and I addressed our complaints. He was the ultimate person making the decision.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    I just want to get something clarified from Staff Sergeant Frizzell. I was reviewing the transcript, and I think Commissioner George sort of suggested you were moved out of the investigation and put into A Division because of health reasons.
    Is this your understanding of what transpired? Maybe it was the stress or something, or the strain they were imposing on you.
S/Sgt Mike Frizzell:
    Well, I was sick and tired, but I wasn't removed for health reasons.
Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
     I am a lawyer, and from a lot of the stuff I've heard, if it had been somebody else they would be in criminal court dancing a tune. Some of them might have been packing their toothbrushes for the crowbar hotel visit. That didn't happen here.
     Something that's very bothersome to me is that charges may not have been laid because things were dragged out long enough that limitation periods expired; it wasn't that there wasn't evidence. To me that's another problem. We have professional police people dragging things out deliberately to get beyond the limitation periods. That's another story in itself that is troublesome to me.
     Chief Superintendent Macaulay, do you have these kinds of concerns, or am I off base on this concern of mine?
C/Supt Fraser Macaulay:
    I think your concerns are right on.
    One of my greatest concerns was with the audit. Our internal audit group reports to our senior executive and/or through Mr. Gauvin. By stopping the criminal investigation and going back to an audit, all of a sudden all the findings started to filter back through the people who eventually ended up being those who were at the top making the decisions. Therefore there was a lot of time to see what was coming and start doing what they needed to do to make sure it didn't come out even further.

  (1735)  

Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick:
    Thank you very much.
The Chair:
    Thank you, Mr. Fitzpatrick.
    I'm going to conclude within about a minute and a half.
    Mr. Williams, do you want to deal with your motion now? You need consent anyway, I think.
Mr. John Williams:
    Yes, but I think you will find unanimous consent to deal with Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion at the first meeting when we come back on April 16. I propose that the first half hour of that meeting be in camera to deal with where to go with this issue, including Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion.
The Chair:
    Does Mr. Williams have unanimous consent for that direction?
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    He has changed it to bring unanimous consent for the motion. Is that correct?
Mr. John Williams:
    I'm asking if there is unanimous consent to take the first half hour of the next meeting on April 16 to discuss in camera where we go from here, including talking about Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    Why would we lose the opportunity to hear three or four very key witnesses so we could assess them?
Mr. John Williams:
    I'm not opposed to bringing the witnesses forward. I just want to do it in camera so we can decide where to go from here.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    I think the motion is where we have to go, because we need to hear from those six people.
The Chair:
    I want to put it on the agenda of the steering committee on the 16th anyway. I'll do that myself.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
     I think we have unanimous consent for Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion, at least on this side.
Hon. Judy Sgro:
    I think it's very helpful for all of us. We have the same interests here.
    Thank you.
Mr. John Williams:
    I want half an hour also.
The Chair:
    Going back to Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion, does he have unanimous consent?
Mr. David Christopherson:
    I just want to ask a question before I give unanimous consent, if you will allow me.
The Chair:
    I will.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    Thank you.
    I want to know whether that will preclude the discussion. As I understand it, Mr. Williams is suggesting that we go in camera for a half hour, and part of the focus of the discussion will be Borys' motion. If you're going to move it now and pass it, that precludes other options that I think some of us want to explore.
    While I have the floor, at said half-hour in camera meeting, I would like to request that the law clerk be present.
The Chair:
    Let me try to summarize what I sense. On the 16th we'll dedicate half an hour to this particular issue. I think we can deal with Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion and the direction of the committee, because this is a complicated matter. I think everyone agrees with that.
    Mr. Laforest.

[Translation]

Mr. Jean-Yves Laforest:
    Mr. Chairman, I have not had an opportunity to express my opinion and that of Ms. Brunelle on this matter. We would have been in favour of unanimous consent. We agreed to vote on this motion immediately. I do not think that we really need a half hour of discussion. We have been engaged in the debate here for two hours today. We have been given additional information that is in direct contradiction to what we heard in February.

[English]

The Chair:
     This is on Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's motion. So does Mr. Wrzesnewskyj have unanimous consent to put his motion to the assembly now?
    All in favour--nobody is saying yes or no. Please help me here.
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
    Chair, a point of order.
    I believe we can actually accommodate both points of view. We can pass this motion but also dedicate the first half hour of the meeting on April 16 to discuss various other options we have and other issues that need to be addressed--perhaps other witnesses that need to be called.
The Chair:
    We can always rescind them.
    Mr. Christopherson.
Mr. David Christopherson:
    You need unanimous consent to have the motion on the floor and you don't have it from me. If you want it, I need some questions answered. If you don't want it, I will just not give it.
     I'm concerned that there are other options that don't necessarily involve us having hearings. If we lock ourselves into a motion to have hearings, we will have to go through the procedural process of undoing it, and it just gets messy. If you hold off, give us the half hour, get the law clerk there, and get the motion there, we can cover the waterfront. We need to look beyond the usual tools we have every week. That's my concern.
The Chair:
    Mr. Christopherson, if you agree with your concern, then I suggest you not give Mr. Wrzesnewskyj unanimous consent.

  (1740)  

Mr. John Williams:
    I agree.
The Chair:
    The bells are ringing, so I'm going to adjourn the meeting. I want to thank everyone here for their excellent presentations. We appreciate everything that was said here today.
    The meeting is adjourned.
ParlVU