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Superintendent Marty Cheliak speaks to reporters outside the RCMP detachment in Mayerthorpe, Alta., on March 4, 2005. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)
Superintendent Marty Cheliak speaks to reporters outside the RCMP detachment in Mayerthorpe, Alta., on March 4, 2005. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Who's Who

Meet the Tory hit list Add to ...

The Conservative government's treatment of officials with dissenting views is under fire.

The following high-ranking people have left their jobs in the past few months. They have variously resigned, been sacked or replaced, or not had their appointments renewed.

Marty Cheliak The RCMP Chief Superintendent is being replaced as head of the Canadian Firearms Program, the Mounties confirmed on Wednesday. The official reason: The position is designated bilingual and he's not.

Chief Supt. Cheliak, who became director of the program a year ago, is a strong proponent of the controversial long-gun registry, which the Conservatives have long vowed to scrap. But at a news conference in Halifax, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the decision to remove him an RCMP "staffing" issue. "It's not a political matter," he said.

The move comes just days before the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police annual meeting in Edmonton, where Chief Supt. Cheliak was to present a major report that was expected to underline the effectiveness of the long-gun registry. As well, a crucial House of Commons vote on the future of the registry is to take place Sept. 22.

Pat Stogran The federal government is not renewing the retired colonel's three-year term as ombudsman because it's time for a new advocate to offer new perspectives, Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn says. "It will be good for our veterans and good for our department."

At Tuesday press conference, Col. Stogran claimed he was mere "window dressing" for an "obstructive and deceptive" bureaucracy. He promised veterans he would use his remaining three months on the job to make sure Canadians "know how badly so many of you are being treated."

Col. Stogran was appointed Canada's first veterans ombudsman in 2007. His three-year term expires the day before Remembrance Day.

Munir Sheikh The career civil servant resigned as Canada's chief statistician to protest against Ottawa's controversial decision to kill the mandatory long-form census. Mr. Sheikh quit July 21 after Industry Minister Tony Clement created the impression he was onside with the decision to abandon a compulsory long-form census.

"It really cast doubt on the integrity of the agency," Mr. Sheikh later told a House of Commons committee. "And I, as the head of that agency, cannot survive in that job."

Helena Guergis As Prime Minister Stephen Harper called in the Mounties, Ms. Guergis resigned as minister of state for the status of women and was expelled from the Conservative caucus on April 9. The surprise moves happened after a private investigator passed on allegations involving Ms. Guergis's husband, Rahim Jaffer.

In July, the RCMP announced it had closed its files on the embattled couple without laying charges. But Mr. Harper refused to allow Ms. Guergis, who now sits as an independent MP, to rejoin caucus and she'll have to wage a major fight to run under the Conservative Party's banner in the next election.

Others who have been fired or replaced under Tories

Peter Tinsley The contract of the former chairman of the Military Police Complaints Commission was not renewed when it expired in December. He said Ottawa's refusal to extend his term so he could finish investigating the alleged torture of detainees in Afghanistan contributes to a "chilling effect" on cabinet-appointed watchdogs.

Linda Keen The former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission was fired in January, 2008, over leadership issues after she refused to back the reopening of a nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ont., because Atomic Energy of Canada had not performed safety upgrades. Mr. Harper branded her a Liberal partisan.

Paul Kennedy The term of the former chairman of the Commission for Public Complains Against the RCMP was not renewed in December. Mr. Kennedy had issued scathing reports about RCMP conduct.

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