Mr. Speaker, I am informed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that in regard to a) To the extent information on the conducted energy weapon, CEW, is released via the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, no changes have been made since January 1, 2001, with regards to the type of information being released. These federal acts give Canadian citizens the right to access information in federal government records and provide them with the right to access personal information held by the government and protect that information against unauthorized use and disclosure. The RCMP, as a federal agency is bound by these acts.
To the extent that the RCMP publicly reports on the use of CEWs, this began in late 2007 with the publication of the fourth quarter (October to December 2007) report on CEW use by RCMP members. Since October 2007, the RCMP has continued to prepare and publicly release quarterly reports on the use of CEWs by RCMP members. The quarterly reports are available via the Internet at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ccaps-spcca/cew-ai/report-rapport-q4-2008-eng.htm. The RCMP also produces annual reports on our member’s use of CEWs. The 2008 annual report will be available on the same website in the near future. The 2009 report will also be posted on the RCMP website once completed.
In regard to b) To the extent that information is released via the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, the analysts responsible for requests related to CEWs determine what information needs to be exempted and what information can be released, based on the provisions of the acts.
To the extent the RCMP reports publicly on CEW use, the instructions have been to collect data from the field and compile this information into statistical reports on a quarterly and annual basis.
In regard to c) With respect to the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, following consultations, directions were given to the analysts responsible for the review of the records as to what information needed to be exempted and what information needed to be released.
With respect to the quarterly and annual CEW reports prepared by the RCMP, the Assistant Commissioner at Community, Contract and Aboriginal Police Services issued the instructions that the reports be prepared.
In regard to d) RCMP policy requires members to complete a report each time the CEW is used, which includes the type of information referred to. Since the RCMP approved the CEW as an intervention option, there have been thousands of CEW reports completed. Amendments or additions may have been made to some reports since the original submission to clarify or include additional detail.
Since October 2007 the RCMP has proactively provided information on CEW use in quarterly and annual reports that are available via the internet. Access to information requests are made to the RCMP as per the provisions of the Access to Information Act whereby information on CEW deployments that is held by the RCMP is disclosed.