What Is PROFUNC?

Posted: April 9, 2013 by kbell7 in RCMP Accountability and Oversight

Profunc was a program created by the RCMP in the 1950’s designed to intern individuals it believed to be either working with the soviet (also known as communists) or associated with the “communists” (also known as sympathizers). In the 1950’s, Profunc had approximately 16, 000 suspected communists and 50,000 of their sympathizers on a list to be watched and eventually interned if the call ever came in to do so. The main purpose of Profunc was to have a plan in place, under military control, if the country ever went into a state of emergency, for example World War 3. This program continued on for 33 years and was regularly updated in case the government ever went into a state of emergency at which the C-215 forms (also known as arrest document) would be put into action to arrest, detain and eventually submit individuals to federal prisons across the country.

The reasons behind Profunc were that of suspicion. It was suspected that Profunc was created to increase the number of individuals detained in participation with the FLQ. However, what is clear is that individuals on this list would be spared no expense, including prominent functionaries. As for how the individuals were placed on the list, it was through intelligence gathering. Intelligence is defined as analyzed and processed information (Larsen, 2012). With regards to what extent Profunc represents an example of police deviance is that if the utmost highest. If initiated, Profunc would be ignoring basic Canadian citizenship rights, for example, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, mobility rights, and legal rights just to name a few. Additional as a Canadian citizen, we have a responsibility to participate in the democratic process. Profunc goes against Canadian’s participating in this process and punishes them for doing so. As for the individuals involved, Profunc is a great example of noble cause corruption since the individual’s participating believe that the ends justify the means (Punch, 2009) allowing for the “suspected communists” to be treated however deemed necessary to prevent a national security crisis.

However, during the 1980’s, revelations about the RCMP participating in the “dirty tricks” campaign started to come to light during the McDonald Commission. Because of the findings of the Commission, the RCMP Security Service division was disbanded and resulted in the creation of a new civilian security intelligence service (CSIS) and a Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). Later in the 1980’s, Profunc was promptly disbanded at the hands of an unknowing Solicitor General, Bob Kaplan. Kaplan informed the RCMP to cist and desist any activities involved with the communists encountering problems while trying to cross the Canada-United States border. It wasn’t until recently, that Kaplan was informed, by the Fifth Estate, that what his order actually meant and how it affected Canadian citizens for the better. The documentary can be seen here.

References:

Larsen, M. (2012). ATIP: CSIS lexicon. Security Practices-Red File. Kwantlen Polytechnique University.

McDonald Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the RCMP (1981)

Punch, M. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. New York, New York: Routledge

Sawatsky, J. (1980). Men in the Shadows—The RCMP Security Service,” Doubleday Canada, Toronto.

Security Intelligence Review Committee. (2010). Looking back: a case for security intelligence review in Canada.

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Comments
  1. Mike Larsen says:

    This is an interesting overview of the material covered in the documentary. Question for you: can we conceptualize PROFUNC as a form of noble cause corruption if the entire program was authorized by law and directed by federal government officials?

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