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Canadian Forum 14:716, pp.14-17


It's a safe bet that very few Canadians will ever actually read the McDonald Commission's report on RCMP "wrong-doing." Four years of waiting were probably enough to disinterest the amateurs, and the report itself - 1,784 or so ponderously written and densely printed pages of minute pickings over testimony, dry legal analysis of same and exhaustive recommendations for the future - is calculated to daunt all but the most rabid of RCMP-scandal watchers and the driest of legal academics. After receiving the report in January, 1981, the Government spent the next eight months preparing the proper context for releasing it, which was finally done on August 25. The proper context, naturally, was one in which the less pleasant aspects of the report would do the least damage. This meant a public relations campaign in which, among other things, much was made of the fact that the commissioners had absolved Liberal cabinet ministers of legal complicity in RCMP crimes and in which the Government announced with great fanfare that it was accepting the Commission's recommendation that the Security Service be located outside of the RCMP.

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