Calgary Herald

RCMP admit to helping toss student from rally

Admission comes as PM offers apology

- ROBERT HILTZ AND ANDREW MAYEDA twitter. com/aNdrewmaye­da twitter. com/robert_hiltz

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.

 ?? Chris Wattie, Reuters ?? conservati­ve leader stephen Harper plays cribbage with susan collins during a campaign stop at a cultural centre in toronto wednesday. on wednesday, Harper offered an apology to a student who was kicked out of a rally earlier this week.
Chris Wattie, Reuters conservati­ve leader stephen Harper plays cribbage with susan collins during a campaign stop at a cultural centre in toronto wednesday. on wednesday, Harper offered an apology to a student who was kicked out of a rally earlier this week.

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