Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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A letter to the editor of the Ottawa Sun

Response to: “Mounties apologized for Ramadan terror arrests”
Ottawa Sun, January 6, 2011

A story and an editorial piece published in the January 6th Ottawa Sun incorrectly stated that the RCMP had issued an apology for the arrests made as part of Project Samossa. This is simply not correct. The RCMP believes that the arrests were appropriate and we have not and do not apologize for carrying out our responsibilities as Canada’s national police force.

I would like to confirm that shortly following the arrests, we convened a meeting of our Cultural Diversity Consultative Committee in Ottawa to provide information and discuss any concerns relating to actions taken by the RCMP.  As the meeting was convened during the month of Ramadan, the RCMP expressed regret to the Committee for any inconvenience the timing of the meeting may have presented its members.

As part of its National Security Community Outreach efforts, the RCMP has maintained a longstanding relationship with the Committee, which represents the interests of many ethnic and religious communities. The goal of community outreach is to encourage open dialogue in order to create better understandings, identify and resolve concerns, and ensure appropriate channels of communication between the RCMP and the communities we serve. This is important on an ongoing basis, not just in times of crisis.

I trust this clarifies the matter. Thank you.

Sincerely,

 

François Bidal, Assistant Commissioner
Commanding Officer
RCMP “A” Division (National Capital Region)