POLITICS

Tory MP Peter Goldring: Police Body Cameras Motion Coming

04/10/2015 09:47 EDT | Updated 04/10/2015 10:59 EDT
CP

A Conservative MP known on Parliament Hill for packing a spy pen in his suit pocket will introduce a motion to make body-worn cameras mandatory for police across Canada.

“The recent cases in New Brunswick, Toronto, and South Carolina clearly demonstrate the need for body-worn and patrol-car cameras,” Peter Goldring said in a release on Friday.

Referencing the shooting deaths of Michel Vienneau, Sammy Yatim and Walter Scott, the Edmonton East MP said the use of the cameras would be a helpful “measure of public safety and investigative efficiency.”

“Police could spend more time policing and less time in the courtroom,” he said.

On Wednesday, North Charleston, S.C. mayor Keith Summey announced every officer in his city would now be required to wear body-mounted cameras. Police in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have all tested use of the technology, but departments continue to mull policies ordering their use for all frontline officers.

A longtime proponent of body-worn cameras, Goldring tangled himself in some controversy last year after making bizarre suggestions about their possible use.

In November, he warned colleagues against “consorting without protection” — ambiguous phrasing that attracted some heat amid sexual harassment allegations levied against two Liberal MPs.

Goldring used his own habit of carrying a spy-pen as an example of how he always has “protection,” a practice he started after a 2011 incident when he refused to provide a breath sample to police during a checkstop.

Goldring recommended others do the same to “prevent besmirchment when encounters run awry.”

“I suggest that others do too, particularly because some accusers hide behind a shield of supposed credibility which many times is not, and sometimes even hide behind a cloak of anonymity, which conceals their shameful indiscretion and complicity,” he wrote in the memo.

He later retracted his comments and offered an apology, acknowledging his remarks as “completely inappropriate.”

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