Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Robert Goguen is backing away from earlier reports that the federal government will conduct a public inquiry into the fatal shootings of three Moncton Mounties and the wounding of two others.
The Conservative MP told CBC News on Tuesday night he is not calling for a public inquiry.
"No, not at all," said Goguen, who was in Saint John, attending the premier's dinner at the Hilton Trade and Convention Centre.
"Basically, every time there's an incident like there was in Moncton, which of course, is very tragic, as there was also in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, [when four officers were shot and killed in 2005] the RCMP review their procedures.
"That's what I'm referring to, when they call for an inquiry. And as in the Mayerthorpe incident, there were a number of recommendations that came forth in responding to emergency situations, whether it be the porcelain body armour, whether it be equipping the cars with the C-8 carbines," he said, responding to media reports based on a recent letter to the editor he had written to the Moncton newspaper.
'It's the RCMP doing some navel-gazing, drilling down and looking at what are their best practices, what their best equipment, what their best training would be, for situations of this very tragic nature. Nothing more.' - Robert Goguen, MP for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe
"That's the type of inquiry that builds recommendations to give the best practices to the RCMP to respond to emergency situations. It's not a public inquiry. It's not an external inquiry. It's the RCMP doing some navel-gazing, drilling down and looking at what are their best practices … best equipment, what their best training would be, for situations of this very tragic nature. Nothing more."
In the letter he wrote to the newspaper, Goguen said he got confirmation of an inquiry from Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney on June 18.
"He provided me his assurance that a full inquiry into the events leading to the tragic death of the three Codiac RCMP officers will be undertaken," Goguen wrote.
"From this inquiry, best practices in emergency scenarios will be reviewed and strengthened," the letter states.
Blaney declined an interview on Tuesday to clarify Goguen's letter to the editor comments about an inquiry, but emailed a statement.
"With an incident of this nature, the RCMP will examine ways to continue improving the safety and security of Canadians and front-line police officers," he said, adding he "fully supports the RCMP in this effort."
Goguen said he believes the RCMP review is sufficient and that no oversight or independent review is required.
"The RCMP deal with these situations day in and day out. I am totally confident that they have the capacity, the people, the knowledge, the expertise to do their best inquiry to come up with the best practices, as they did in Mayerthorpe," he said.
"And from every sort of tragedy, you learn the best practices and you get stronger and more equally equipped and trained."
Employment and Social Development Canada previously confirmed it is conducting an investigation into the shootings.
On June 4, three RCMP officers were shot and killed by a heavily armed gunman:
- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, from Saint John.
- Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que.
- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally from Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
Constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen were also wounded in the attack in the southeastern New Brunswick city.
Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the shootings. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 3.
Goguen's comments come on the heels of calls for an inquiry.
Earlier this month, retired RCMP officer Terry Mckee, who supervised two of the three officers who were killed, told CBC News there should be an external inquiry.
The RCMP has said its investigation into the shootings is ongoing and "may take a while to complete," but it will be "thorough."
An inquiry was held following the shooting deaths of four RCMP constables in the northern Alberta town of Mayerthorpe on March 3, 2005.
The officers were guarding a marijuana grow-op and cache of stolen car parts they had found inside a Quonset hut when the owner of the farm returned and began firing on them with a high-powered hunting rifle. The gunman, James Roszko, later killed himself.
Rob Creasser, the spokesman for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, has said Moncton officers did not have ready access to the ballistic vests or high-powered rifles recommended by that inquiry.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has said his members have access to the tools they need.