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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Minister Day receives final Report on the use of Conducted Energy Weapons by the RCMP

June 18, 2008

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, issued the following statement upon the release of the final report by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) on the use of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs), commonly known as Tasers.

“After the tragic incident at Vancouver International Airport in October 2007, I asked the Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, to look into the use of CEWs in the RCMP.

In follow-up to the CPC’s interim report released in December 2007, I have received the CPC’s final report on the RCMP’s use of CEWs and the RCMP’s compliance with the protocols established to govern their use.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the CPC on this issue. It provides a valuable perspective and helps in our on-going effort to ensure police officers are equipped with the tools they need to secure their own safety and that of the public and with the proper guidance on when and how to use these tools.

The government accepts the report and its recommendations in principle, including the main recommendation to further restrict the circumstances within which CEWs may be used.

I have met with the Commissioner of the RCMP regarding the operational implications raised by the recommendations in the final CPC report. He has indicated to me that he intends to act on the recommendations in a manner that takes into consideration the operational requirements of the RCMP. We agree on the need to move forward in ways that will help to maintain the safety of the public and the men and women that protect our communities.

The appropriate use of CEWs is an important issue for all and I intend to continue to address this with my provincial and territorial counterparts on an ongoing basis.

The Government of Canada continues to take this issue very seriously and is taking the necessary measures to ensure Canadians maintain full confidence in their national police force.

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