March 07, 2017

High River Gun Grab a “blight” on retiring RCMP Commissioner’s long and storied career

Brian LilleyArchive

Bob Paulson is stepping down as the top cop at the RCMP. He served as Commissioner since November 2011, spent 32 years serving with the Mounties and before that, six years in the army. Anyone that serves their country for four decades has to be admired.

And while I have problems with Paulson over one major issue, the fact is that on other files, the force under his command has done some amazing work.

Watch as I lay out what he did well, and the one issue I have a problem with - the High River gun grab, a massive violation of civil rights mostly ignored by the media because they have no time for gun owners.

When flooding hit High River, Alberta in late June 2013 the town declared a state of emergency. Residents evacuated secure in the knowledge that they needed to look after themselves first and that local authorities would protect their belongings.

For the most part, that’s what happened until officers started searching for guns and breaking the law while breaking down doors.

The end result in the aftermath is broken trust between the people of the town and their local police, between gun owners and police.

This could have been handled much better by Commissioner Paulson including punishing those in Alberta’s K Division that were responsible, instead of handing out promotions.

I don’t expect others in the media to take up this issue, their antipathy to gun owners is well documented, some of them outright lied about what happened and what McPhail reported.

But I do wish Commissioner Paulson had acted on this rather than retiring with this black mark, this asterisk on his outstanding career.

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commented 2017-03-09 04:15:16 -0500
Paulson was a waste of space. He came into the job and was all gung ho to correct the internal challenges within the RCMP, he did nothing. The gun grab, they proved themselves to be untrustworthy, they are not members of the community, but a self serving criminal organization. They are a collection of some of the worst of society, they prey on their own, bullying and raping other female cops, they are sexual deviants, thieves, liars, cowards, murderers, even abuse animals. They should have been disbanded decades ago but they were allowed to ride on the reputation of the Northwest Mounted Police and they are not the same. They really have a dismal history so much so they should walk with their heads down in shame for some of their members demonstrated cowardice. Any of us could do a better job than Paulson, he couldn’t get it done because of the usual RCMP fear and incompetence. In my opinion he is retiring in disgrace like an earlier version, I think his name was something like Zacardelli, who I can remember spent twenty five thousand tax dollars on a new desk and then he retired in disgrace for his mounting failures. Another thing that pisses me off is they don’t hesitate to gun down a Canadian having a bad day but they come upon these scum terrorists they never seem to shoot any of them. And when that terrorist went into the capital and you see all the cops running down the hall with guns drawn, they looked like the Keystone Kops, if a gun battle had occurred they were more likely to shoot each other first before any bad guys. To me it demonstrated how grossly poor they are trained, especially involving an assault of that nature. Really some of the ridiculously stupid things they do would truly be funny except that it always seems to be a disaster where innocents more often than not get hurt. Whenever I see that film footage from that fateful day when we lost a brave young soldier, Nathan Cirillo, I always cringe when I see the the antics of the cops, it doesn’t give me any comfort or confidence in their abilities to react to an emergency of that nature.
commented 2017-03-08 23:58:15 -0500
Really Brian, the only blight on his record?? What about the millions wasted on framing Nutall and Korody?
commented 2017-03-08 19:49:28 -0500
Taking guns from respectable tax-payers is cowardly. The RCMP should go after drug lords, and violent criminals. I am tired of seeing the RCMP acting outside-the-law.
commented 2017-03-08 17:34:43 -0500
Brian ,
How has he kept us safe ?
By doing his best to keep guns out of the hands of law abiding properly certified citizens with archaic , useless gun laws that only effect honest gun owners and do zero to restrict real criminals ?
By turning law abiding citizens into criminals in an instant because they forgot to bring their transfer permit with them to the rifle range , forgetting to lock up their handgun like Fort Knox while at home and the gun was under their control or failing to abide by any one of a myriad of useless gun laws that serve only to restrict law abiding gun owners? By criminalizing law abiding gun owners for protecting their property and life with a firearm ? By restricting benign firearms as though they were fully automatic military assault weapons? Or busting into law abiding citizens homes and trampling all over their constitutional rights and conducting unlawful search and seizure of firearms ? By fighting tooth and nail to ensure Canadians are never allowed to conceal carry a hand gun for self protection ? All this is considered “keeping us safe”?
Brian , I think not
commented 2017-03-08 17:04:41 -0500
Absolutely, no respect for the RCMP anymore. “Government Henchmen” is right!

Thanks, Brian
commented 2017-03-08 16:30:01 -0500
And while the Winnipeg muslim convert was attempting to detonate a bomb in Toronto the RCMP in Nova Scotia were harassing contestants at the IPSC pistol competition to make sure “za dokuments ah in ohder”. If it had not been for the FBI the RCMP would have been blind sided whilst aggravating law abiding people for no reason other than they can.
Oh, the joy if they could charge someone for having n expired permit of some kind. My Dad was a cop but I have no trust and little respect for the RCMP or any of the other branches of government henchmen. When they charge an imam for hate speech I may grudgingly cede a bit of respect.
commented 2017-03-08 14:38:02 -0500
Judging by the massive stonewalling that Dennis Young has been getting on his ATIP & FOIP requests to the RCMP, DND, and Alberta governments, the responsibility for the organized break-ins and seizures of firearms and ammunition (and destruction of the latter) goes far higher than Paulson.
commented 2017-03-08 13:04:47 -0500
I still say Redford order this! After all she worked for the UN, and they don’t believe that anyone has rights.
commented 2017-03-08 12:19:53 -0500
Have lived on acreages near High River and in the town for over 40 years. Appreciate Mr.Lily’s work on the RCMP gun grab during the flood evacuation. Our home’s front door was smashed even though we left it unlocked. Yet nobody entered the property. No footprints, no mud, no glass tracked anywhere. Thank you to the brave RCMP for making sure nobody was left in our home. I’m not sure how the destruction of our door and non-entry accomplished this……maybe a trick learned in their training?! My cul de sac only had half the doors damaged. Why?
Trust is gone. Next flood many will refuse to follow evacuation orders. Failure by the RCMP hierarchy. Failure by the federal and provincial gov’ts and mayor/council. It was absolutely an exercise in what Canadians would tolerate when stripped of their civil liberties. No other community in southern AB who were flooded June 19–21/13 had this happen. Lucky us
commented 2017-03-08 11:39:38 -0500
Don MacIntyre (MP for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake) sent me an bulk email today asking “How many NDP bureaucrats does it take to install a light bulb?”

Since I had no way to answer his question I thought I would post it here.

Let’s see …
- The MP responsible for light bulbs (1)
- The Chief of Staff for that MP (1)
- The Chief of Staff’s staff (10 – 20)
- The MP’s social networking staff (15 – 25)
- The entire NDP cabinet & all their staff (200-250)
1. to figure out what a light bulb is
2. to figure out how to screw it … ummm… I mean screw it into the socket
3. to figure out how badly the use of that light bulb is completely destroy the environment
4. how to blame the use of that light bulb on Harper (this one is an easy decision. It all is obviously Harper’s fault … like duhhh!)
- The entire NDP, staff and all (450 to 500?)

So, my guess is about 677 to 792 people … all paid easily in excess of $180K each and some pushing the $400K mark. Probably should take a year or two to figure out and another year to accomplish.

How close am I?
commented 2017-03-08 10:43:32 -0500
The bell hops are busy at the border now. RCMP break ins are down at the present time. All good.
commented 2017-03-08 09:35:02 -0500
The High River Gun Grab all out attack on the charter of Rights was a test to see how much pathetic left wing Canadians will take. Apparently they will take having their doors kicked in and unlawful search and seizure of their private property. Apart from a very few like Brian Lilly, Canadians are generally a bunch of gun phobic frightened sheep that bend over at every opportunity to take it up the behind from government and any of their anti freedom agencies.
commented 2017-03-08 09:33:42 -0500
The High River Gun Grab all out attack on the charter of Rights was a test to see how much pathetic left wing Canadians will take. Apparently they will take having their doors kicked in and unlawful search and seizure of their private property. Apart from a very few like Brian Lilly, Canadians are generally a bunch of gun phobic frightened sheep that bend over at every opportunity to take it up the behind from government and any of their anti freedom agencies.
commented 2017-03-08 08:44:18 -0500
I disagree with Alberta getting its own police service at this time. Can you imagine the type of police force the Non-Democratic Party would create? The ‘sheriff’ shill bouncing Ms. G-R out of a publicly owned space is the first clue. An NDP force would also be based upon affirmative action quotas, not merit. Finally, we would have to get used to multiple uniforms based upon ethnicity, including the interaction with tented-up female officers whose identity is hidden.

While the RCMP is headed down this path, there is still a certain meritocracy and standard at the front line.
commented 2017-03-08 08:12:22 -0500
Bravo Zulu You are 100 percent correct, they were far more professional than the rcmp, from what I have heard they took back there breaching tools from them as well, as they could see it for what it was a gun grab,
commented 2017-03-08 08:10:01 -0500
Live close to high river know plenty of folks there, No one is happy still no answer from the rcmp, Still not much trust in them, seems everything is being swept under the rug.
commented 2017-03-08 07:34:51 -0500
Quite frankly I cannot understand why any province does not toss the RCMP and have their own provincial police force.
commented 2017-03-08 03:33:19 -0500
‘Next time’ Alberta’s Contract with the RCMP comes due; Alberta could have Provincial & Local Policing (in all but Federal jurisdiction such as Airports’).
commented 2017-03-08 03:26:58 -0500
Excellent synopsis Brian on what went down in High River… I tend to agree with Bill Elder’s comment that:- “The RCMP will NEVER redeem their lost public trust until there is arrest and trial of thse guilty of this atrocity.”… My oldest son was service manager at a major heavy equipment repair and sales facility in High River at the time, and several of his employees had their homes broken into… They certainly will not forget what happened, and the RCMP’s “cover your ass” reaction of simply scooting those responsible off to work in other divisions just doesn’t hack it under Canadian law… Too bad Paulson didn’t have the guts to do what’s right during his term as Commissioner…
commented 2017-03-08 00:50:11 -0500
Bravo Zulu, for someone who didn’t watch the video, those are brilliantly insightful comments. Well played.
commented 2017-03-08 00:49:35 -0500
Good riddance Paulson! I saw a TV interview where he said that he was going to promote more women to try and stop sexual teasing from the male RCMP. Think of his idea, you are a hard working man ,was ahead in your training ; for the last few years your Sargent picks you for the tough jobs, and everyone looks up to you. Then a woman who you used to help out so she could get by is promoted as your new boss, only because she is a woman. I think you would leave the RCMP and join a City Force. I would sue before leaving.
commented 2017-03-08 00:05:42 -0500
I did not watch the video. Jammed for time so I read the writing and decided to send this note along.

The military were with the RCMP when the break, enter and theft of privately owned firearms started.

The military refused to accompany the RCMP after the first episode.

They did not want to be involved in illegal activities that affected law-a-biding citizens.

When the media started to ignore this issue I was finally awakened to three things.

1. The police in Canada might be necessary, but they are NEVER to be trusted.

2. The media is not worth spit because they have an agenda and legal and law-a-biding firearms owners are one of their targets.

3. The military was unable to stop these break and enters so decided to not be involved – they had and still have honour – something the RCMP did not and I think to a certain extent even today still do not have.
commented 2017-03-07 22:21:30 -0500
No love lost on Paulson – some pretty heinous things happened on his watch, High River was the greatest civil abomination since the RCMP mistreatment of the Doukhodors who they oppressed for religious freedom.

High River break ins were Canada’s Watergate in spades. Mass violation of constitutional rights and police protocol. The RCMP will NEVER redeem their lost public trust until there is arrest and trial of thse guilty of this atrocity.

Although Paulson was bad enough, I shutter to think of the political lap dog who will be his replacement – a hapless puppet his political masters. We will never see a Liberal investigated in his term.
commented 2017-03-07 20:58:05 -0500
the rot in the upper echelons of k division has been there for years long before high river…misbehavior and mismanagement by detachment commanders is not punished but rewarded with transfers…that way new detachment commanders when asked about what transpired can honestly say’i know nothing…i wasn’t here when it happened’…apologies to john bannerman aka sgt. schultz.
commented 2017-03-07 20:35:37 -0500
Hitler also served his country for 40 years. He was also a Nazi. The goings on in High River would have made the Gestapo cringe. These activities have soured my trust and the trust of many others for the RCMP. If a similar situation happened again I expect not many people will leave their homes to the tender mercies of our national goose steppers. I can’t say I hold any admiration for a commissioner who let this go unpunished in any meaningful way.
commented 2017-03-07 19:39:11 -0500
Thanks for the work you did on this file , it was an eye opener all across Canada
commented 2017-03-07 19:12:31 -0500
Paulson does not have to be admired after a 40 year career. He was in charge of these clowns and the results were promotions? As Harry Truman said “the buck stops here” but Paulson gets a pension as do the cops who broke the law. Situation normal in the RCMP.