03/12/2012 05:18 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Senator Kenny meets new RCMP commissioner Paulson after public flap

OTTAWA - Liberal Senator Colin Kenny privately met RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson after a public flap over allegations the Harper government tried to muzzle the new top cop.

In January, the former chair of the Senate defence committee went public with frustration that a simple luncheon appointment with Paulson had to be cleared by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

The longtime senator, with interests in defence, policing and intelligence, accused Paulson of allowing himself to be managed by the Conservatives.

In a terse email exchange, made public at the time, Paulson denied being muzzled.

Kenny now says he met with the commissioner last week, and they apparently buried the hatchet.

The senator declined to say what was discussed, but noted the meeting demonstrated Paulson would not allow himself to be politically handled.

Kenny said there was an important principle at stake when it comes to the independence of the national police service.