Information Commissioner warns of dangerous precedent in RCMP long-gun registry case

Canada's Information Commissioner has concluded that the RCMP broke access to information laws. Now Suzanne Legault is dismayed that the federal government is retroactively attempting to change the law to shield the RCMP from prosecution. The Information Commissioner joins us to explain the unprecedented nature of this case.
Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada, holds a press conference in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Canada's Information Commissioner says she's never seen anything like this.

Following a long investigation, Suzanne Legault concluded that the RCMP illegally destroyed records related to the long-gun registry.

Now, she's also publicly questioning the federal government's attempt to create a "perilous precedent" by retroactively rewriting Canada's access-to-information law to absolve the RCMP of wrongdoing.

Canada's Information Commissioner tabled a special report earlier this week and revealed that she recommended almost two months ago that charges be laid against the RCMP for its role in withholding and destroying gun registry data.

The government responded by trying to rewrite the law though the latest omnibus budget bill.

"This is an attempt to erase potential civil, criminal and administrative liability," Legault told The House's Evan Solomon

"It's no longer about the long-gun registry, this is about the actions that the government is purporting to do in this matter and the precedent that it is setting," Legault said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the RCMP acted according to the law and within Parliament's intentions on the long gun registry. 0:54