Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denies applying pressure to influence the RCMP, after allegations surfaced that the office of then-Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and PMO made a promise with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki that they will release details of the Nova Scotia mass shooting to sway public interest in to supporting Trudeau gun control legislation regime.
Trudeau appeared for a press conference on Thursday from Rwanda and commented on the allegations.
When asked if he or his office put pressure on Lucki, Trudeau responded “Absolutely not… we did not put any undue influence or pressure. It’s extremely important to highlight that it is only the RCMP, it is only the police that determines what and when to release information.
“The commissioner’s statement, the minister’s statement, and yes, I still very much have support and confidence in Commissioner Lucki,” said Trudeau, referring to denials yesterday from both Blair and Lucki that the secret deal had taken place.
Trudeau continued: “I will highlight, however, that when the worst mass shooting in Canada’s history happened, we had a lot of questions. Canadians had a lot of questions. I got regular briefings on what we knew, and what we didn’t know, and those answers continue to come out even as the public inquiry is ongoing so families can actually learn what happened, and we will continue to take responsible action.
Former Public Safety Minister Bill Blair made similar comments on Wednesday, saying that “there was no interference” in the case, and “no pressure placed upon the RCMP, no interference with their operational decisions.”
These assertions run counter to those made by RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell, whose handwritten notes from a meeting with Lucki claim that she was upset that police withheld information about the weapons used because she had promised the government to do so, even if doing so would put the investigation in to “jeopardy.”
While New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh said he needed more information before he could decide whether he believed the Trudeau administration or officer Campbell, interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen said yesterday that she believed officer Campbell.