In August 2018, while researching how Sgt. Christopher McCuen’s service pistol was stolen from his unattended RCMP vehicle and used to shoot then-16-year-old Calli Vanderaa, I contacted RCMP Media Relations.
I asked if the force has a policy on storing RCMP-owned firearms in unattended vehicles and, if so, would they please provide it to me. I was told the policy exists, but they could not give me a copy unless I filed and Access to Information Program (ATIP) request.
I filed the ATIP request.
Seven months, follow-up emails and one complaint to the Information Commissioner later, I’m still waiting for the RCMP to produce the policy document they readily admit exists.
Given media reports of two thefts of RCMP firearms from unattended vehicles this week alone, one in Calgary and another in Halifax, the RCMP’s policy on storing firearms in unattended vehicles is clearly relevant to public safety.
NOTE: When filing the complaint, if the reason for filing it lack of response within the legislated time frame, the Information Commissioner calls this a “Deemed Refusal (Delay).”