Monday, June 29, 2009

RCMP Knew That Couillard Posed a Security Threat to Bernier

Before Maxime Bernier did the unthinkable and left sensitive top secret documents at the home a girlfriend with ties to the criminal underworld, the RCMP knew that she posed a security threat but did nothing to end their relationship.

That was part of the testimony given in the investigation, which poses the question: just how deep was this scandal?

The fact that Ms Couillard ran a brothel (the Ambassadors Club), makes one wonder who didn't want their patronage at the club made known. Apparently Stockwell Day was a regular, but who else?

I don't care, nor would most Canadians, but perhaps their wives might not be too thrilled.

Couillard 'familiar' to RCMP
MPs begin hearings into security slip that cost Bernier cabinet post
Jun 11, 2008
Bruce Campion-Smith
Toronto Star
Ottawa Bureau Chief

OTTAWA–The Mounties have confirmed they knew about Julie Couillard before her bombshell relationship with Maxime Bernier hit the headlines.

Deputy Commissioner Raf Souccar revealed yesterday that Couillard, who has past ties to biker gangs, was no stranger to the force.

"I am familiar with this matter. I am familiar with Ms Couillard. However, it would be inappropriate for me to be talking about a specific case," he told the Commons public safety committee.

Asked whether Couillard was known to the RCMP before she hit the spotlight last August as Bernier's girlfriend, Souccar replied, "Yes, she was."

Bernier lost his cabinet post just over two weeks ago after Couillard revealed to a French-language television news show that he had left sensitive government papers at her house for more than five weeks.

The committee yesterday launched hearings into Bernier's security slip. But opposition MPs seemed frustrated when Souccar and assistant commissioner Bob Paulson refused to say whether the force had warned the government about any potential problems or whether there's an ongoing probe.

Still, they left hints Couillard's past and her relationship to Bernier, whose "top-secret, special-access" security clearance made him privy to the government's most sensitive secrets, was a troubling combination that had raised flags.

"Organized crime, terrorism has been a priority for the RCMP for a number of years," Souccar said. ``We would look at every case with that in mind, and we would use whatever resources are available to us in order to be able to determine whether or not there is a threat either to government or to individuals."

He contradicted the government's stance that the private life of a politician is nobody's business, suggesting it might not be off limits if there are security concerns.

"If you noticed in the personal life of a minister a relationship develops that could amount to a security breach ... are you going to inform (Privy Council Office)?" Bloc Québécois MP Serge Menard asked.

"Yes, if we think that there could be a cause for concern, we would inform PCO," Souccar said.

He declined to say whether the RCMP informed the Privy Council Office, the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister's Office, about any concerns it had in this case.

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