November 20, 2007
CanWest News Service
OTTAWA — A report by the Canada Border Services Agency into the Taser death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski will be released to the public within days, says Public Security Minister Stockwell Day. Day told reporters Tuesday he wants the report as soon as possible. “That one will be out within days and that, I believe, will be the first report that will be out,” he said. Day acknowledged other inquiries are also underway that will provide a number of answers, but he said the Canadian people need to know quickly what happened at the airport and what action has been taken since the death of Dziekanski.
“I don’t want something that is going to drag on for months and months in terms of my area of responsibility. There are things that need to be improved upon in terms of how people are handled. We want to know that quickly,” he said.
Dziekanski, a 40-year-old Polish immigrant, died shortly after being Tasered by RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport. The event was filmed by a bystander and the videotape has been seen around the world.
On Monday, B.C. Solicitor General John Les announced a full public inquiry into the death of Dziekanski and the policy governing the use of Tasers by police in the province. Day said he and Les have discussed the issue on a number of occasions. “I’m pleased to see a number of investigations going forward,” he said. “We can’t underline (enough) the seriousness of this tragic event. The nature of some of these inquests is that they will take quite a bit of time. A coroner’s inquest takes a period of time, a full public inquiry at the provincial level will take a lot of time. And I want to move quickly, but in an in-depth way, to look at exactly what took place and what can be done, be put in place, hopefully within days, to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.”
Day said it is important for Canadians to know that the various investigations, including a homicide investigation and a probe by the RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner, will be independent. “The complaints commissioner is doing an investigation himself. The coroner’s inquest, of course, will be independent. But we want to look at all possibilities, all ways and means to give the assurance to the public that there is going to be an independent view of what took place,” Day said.
“We are giving full consideration to all means possible to make sure this is independently set and if there is culpability to be assessed then it will be done.”
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
November 20, 2007