On Campus

Criticize the RCMP and lose your funding?

Deputy commissioner warns SFU prof over negative comments made in the media

Simon Fraser University’s head of criminology says an RCMP officer threatened to pull funding for the department in response to critical comments made against the Mounties. According to emails, obtained by Postmedia, RCMP deputy commissioner Gary Bass appears to have issued a “thinly veiled threat” against SFU’s director of criminology, Robert Gordon, for publicly criticizing RCMP “arrogance” in handling the Robert Pickton case.

The RCMP is one of the primary donors to SFU’s Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies, which is a part of the criminology department. In the email the deputy chief accuses Gordon of making inaccurate statements in the media, and questions the relationship between SFU and the RCMP. “The ongoing bias you display against the RCMP in articles such as this have caused many to ask why we would want to continue to be in that partnership given this apparent lack of support from the head of the department,” the email, sent on Aug 22, stated.

Bass told Postmedia that the RCMP has no plans of pulling funding for two research chairs at the Institute. “We have no intention of pulling away from that contract. We have a great relationship with SFU,” he said.

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