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Jeffrey Monaghan (born c.1980) is an environmental and social justice activist from Ottawa, Canada.  He gained national notoriety when he was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as a result of an investigation into how confidential government plans for the environment were leaked to environmentalists and the media, specifically the Canadian Press.

The publicity from the leak occurred 10 days before Canada officially announced its intention to abandon international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Arrest

Monaghan was arrested from his workplace - then released - on May 9, 2007.

Monaghan had been a contract employee in the communications department with Environment Canada for four years. His duties included media monitoring and internal communications.

Union and civil rights leaders criticized Monaghan's arrest as "heavy-handed" and a "witch-hunt" that sent a chill through the civil service. Patty Ducharme, national executive vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said the Monaghan's arrest was the first time she had ever heard of a public servant in Canada being escorted out of the workplace in handcuffs.

The arrest also renewed concerns among critics about the lack of independence of the RCMP from government, despite insistence from the RCMP and Environment Canada that the complaint was issued from the deputy minister and not the Prime Minister's or Enivronment Minister John Baird's office.

Baird defended the police investigation into possible breaches of the public service code of ethics. "I don't think that there's any suggestion that this was involving a whistleblower, if someone on an unauthorized basis leaked some sensitive information anonymously," Baird told reporters.

The arrest did not stop leaks from Environment Canada to the media and the president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada said it may have sparked a backlash among civil servants.

As of May 2007, no charges have resulted from the RCMP investigation.

In May 2008 Monaghan released documents that showed the RCMP national security branch, INSET, investigated him as a "Person of Interest". The anti-terrorism investigation was initiated in relation to imagery from his punk band, The Suicide Pilots, and his anarchist associations.

News conference

Monaghan held a news conference on Parliament Hill in the wake of his arrest. He denounced his arrest as bullying by the government. He did not admit to the leak and did not take questions.

Quotations from his statement to the media:

  • "We deserve real action, not cynically calculated PR campaigns and witch-hunts on public servants."
  • "The irony of this case, and proposed charges against me is the government of Canada is using the language of responsible process, due course, fulfilment of duty, and obedience to the law, as justification for their witch hunt against the lowest-ranking temp employee in the department; possibly the entire government excluding cleaning staff."

Personal politics

Monaghan, under the name of "Bones", is a drummer with the punk rock band Suicide Pilots, who appear on a compilation album called Rock Against Harper.

Monaghan was a member of a collective that helped open an anarchist store in Ottawa called Exile Infoshop. The store criticized the police treatment of Monaghan and said that the media connection to the store was exaggerated as he is a "precarious worker: he is a part-time temporary contract worker (5am to 8am)."

Monaghan responded to media reports that he was an anarchist with a letter to the editor. He stated the he "at no time" identified himself as an anarchist and that although he shares many of the same ideals, he eschews "labels and identity politics." [1]

He was given an environmental award in 2004 for founding a student-run food collective at Carleton University called the Garden Spot and worked with Carleton's campus radio station CKCU-FM.

References

  1. Misleading labels detract from the issues, Letter to the Editor, By Jeffrey Monaghan, Vancouver Sun, May 18, 2007

External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Jeff Monaghan, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): 99.254.11.111 Search for "Jeff Monaghan" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Jeff Monaghan"
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