Happy Canada Day
July 1st, 2005
The Honorable A. Anne McLellan
306 Justice Building
House of Commons
K1A 0A6, Canada
Dear Minister McLellan:
I am in receipt of your letter dated May 3rd in answer to my request for information regarding evidence retention in Canada and I am deeply disappointed by your response.
To recap, you will recall that I made my initial inquiry to Justice Minister Cotler on July 1st, 2004. In May 2005 – a full 10 months after this initial inquiry, you write to inform me that the matter of evidence retention falls to the jurisdiction of the RCMP.
Minister McLellan, I put this question of evidence retention to the RCMP two years prior to my letter to Minister Cotler, but the RCMP refused to answer me. So three years later I have come full circle; without any indication that my question will be handled with expedience and an informed response. Further, in my initial inquiry to Minister Cotler, I specifically requested that the question of provincial jurisdiction over policies of evidence retention not be kicked-back to the provinces, yet here you are telling me, “given that law enforcement and the administration of justice are responsibilities that fall under the purview of provincial attorney generals, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on procedures of other police services”.
Minister McLellan, I ask you, what have the staff of your office and the office of Minister Cotler been doing for the last 10 months? What little information you provided could have been given without a moments thought.
Be that as it may, I have some additional questions for you regarding this matter. Please provide me with the name and contact information of the individual at the RCMP to whom you turned over my inquiry. As well, please inform me by what authority, by what process and procedure the matter of evidence retention is the concern of the RCMP and why the Minister of Public Security’s office is not aware of procedures regarding seized articles.
I thank you for your time and attention,
PS: Please note I have sent this letter July 1st, 2005; a full year since my initial inquiry to Mr. Cotler, and still I have no answers to what should be a simple matter to conclude.
Cc: The Honorable Irwin Cotler, Paul Zed