RCMP admit to helping toss student from rally
Admission comes as PM offers apology
The RCMP has admitted some of its officers were involved in a campaign incident in which a university student was thrown out of a Conservative rally in London, Ont.
The admission came even as Stephen Harper’s spokesman moved to make amends to the 19-year-old woman.
A release by Sgt. Greg Cox said, “The RCMP assisted the party organizers in restricting access to persons not registered for the private event. This was not in accordance with the RCMP’s mandate, and RCMP members have been reminded of our responsibilities.”
Strangely, a followup statement from the force was more neutral about its involvement.
Media relations officer Sgt. Julie Gagnon said in an e-mail, “The RCMP is responsible for the security of the party leaders. This mandate does not include managing the access of persons attending private events.
“RCMP members assigned to the security details for party leaders have been reminded of their responsibilities.”
Postmedia was unable to reach a spokesperson to explain the discrepancy.
But the young woman involved, Awish Aslam, said, “It sounds like he’s (Harper) using public resources for himself which, obviously, I think is an abuse of power.”
Meanwhile, Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Harper, sent Aslam a message Wednesday asking her if she would like to meet with Harper on his next campaign stop in London. “I wanted to send you a short message of apology for the rally the other night. I’d like to offer to introduce you to Prime Minister Harper next time we are in London,” he said via Facebook.