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Opposition MPs building support for RCMP inquiry

RCMP Commissioner William Elliott listens to a question from the media at a press conference at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa earlier this year.

Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press

Opposition MPs are working to force RCMP brass to air some of their dirty laundry in public this fall.

Liberal MP Mark Holland is building support for an inquiry by the public safety committee of the House of Commons into allegations that RCMP Commissioner William Elliott's leadership style has created unprecedented tensions within the force. A vote on the matter will be held by committee members on Monday.

In an interview, Mr. Holland said he is disappointed with the Harper government's handling of the controversy, which erupted into public view this summer as RCMP officers complained to their bureaucratic bosses about Mr. Elliott's comportment.

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"Right now, we're not getting any answers from the government," he said. "It's important to make sure that some of this stuff comes out."

NDP MP Don Davies said the public safety committee will have other issues to tackle over coming months, but he agreed the tensions within the RCMP are "an issue of some importance" that needs to be studied.

In particular, he said he wants to make sure "there is no retribution" against the RCMP officers who privately complained about Mr. Elliott, given an impending shuffle of the force's senior management team.

At the government's request this summer, former top spy Reid Morden conducted a "workplace assessment" inside the RCMP and privately presented his conclusions to the government last month.

Mr. Elliott was officially confirmed this week in his position. In an e-mail to members of the force, he said the report "found that there was an unhealthy level of tension and internal conflict in our senior executive team."

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