B.C. Civil Liberties Association files complaint after Jamie Graham allegedly silences Const. David Bratzer

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      The B.C. Civil Liberties has filed a complaint to the Victoria police board  regarding a decision to allegedly prohibit  a police officer from speaking publicly about harm reduction.

      The group's vice president, Jason Gratl, wrote a March 1 letter to the board citing an allegation regarding Const. David Bratzer.

      According to the BCCLA letter to the Victoria police board, Bratzer has been told not to appear at a March 3 conference on the subject, even though this is taking place outside his hours of work.

      Bratzer  has been interviewed by the Georgia Straight in the past about reducing the harm from illegal drugs.

      In December, Straight.com published an opinion piece by Bratzer, in which he argued that the Vancouver police were on the wrong side of the drug-policy debate.

      Gratl's letter noted that in 2007, Vancouver Police Department officer John McKay's critical comments about the four-pillar approach to drug policy  were published in the Ottawa Citizen.  The VPD supports this approach.

      "In 2008, a complaint was filed against VPD officer Mark Steinkampf for criticizing the Insite safe injection site in the media, contrary to VPD policy, while in uniform and on duty," the BCCLA noted.  

      The VPD concluded that this did not constitute a disciplinary default.

      Graham was chief of the Vancouver Police Department from August 2002 to August 2007. He became Victoria's chief constable on January 1, 2009.

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.



      greg riehl

      Mar 8, 2010 at 7:34am

      If people believe that we have free speech in Canada they are mistaken. I used to work for Health Canada and experience the same direction from National Office that I could not speak about Harm Reduction More....
      because it was against Health Canada's Policy. But, Health Canada does not have a policy on Harm Reduction, and I doubt if Bratzer's employer has a policy either. Just because Tony Cement declared the Anti-Drug Strategy and stripped Harm Reduction from the Four Pillar Approach, this does not mean that this philosophy has been erased from all aspects of life in Canada. No Federal Public Service employee is allowed to talk about Harm Reduction while at work, or on leave, or on their own time when Big Brother may be listening.

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