The federal public safety minister's office tried to scale back an apology the RCMP delivered earlier this year to the families of serial killer Robert Pickton's victims, Postmedia News has learned.
A senior adviser to the RCMP commissioner later wrote that the government's proposed revisions — which ended up not being adopted — drained the apology of its "purpose" and "impact," according to internal emails obtained under access-to-information laws. [...]
On Jan. 27, just days before RCMP investigators were scheduled to start testifying at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver, British Columbia's top Mountie, then-assisstant commissioner Craig Callens, released a statement to media regarding the force's handing of the Pickton investigation.
"I believe that, with the benefit of hindsight, and when measured against today's investigative standards and practices, the RCMP could have done more," the statement read in part.
"On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to express to the families of the victims how very sorry we are for the loss of your loved ones, and I apologize that the RCMP did not do more."
Pickton, a pig farmer, was arrested in 2002 and eventually convicted of six counts of second-degree murder, though the remains or DNA of 33 women were found on his property in Port Coquitlam, B.C. He once told an undercover officer that he killed 49.
Email records show that shortly before the RCMP statement was issued, Julie Carmichael, press secretary to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, wrote to Daniel Lavoie, the RCMP's executive director of public affairs in Ottawa, requesting changes to the text.
"Daniel — please find attached the revised product," she wrote. The next line was underlined for emphasis: "Please ensure the statement issued is reflective of these changes."
The revised statement did not include any acknowledgement that the RCMP "could have done more" in the Pickton investigation and the apology was limited to saying "how very sorry we are for the loss of your loved ones."
Is the Conservative Party of Canada accountable? No.
But it's clearly abject, callous, venal and odious.