Update: At first glance it looks like a half-a-mama-mia-culpa attempt at damage control at best - especially the official release (see below).
Double-Secret Probation Update: So, how long before this guy announces that everything is fine and that this just has to be standard operating procedure when you're dealing with the evil intentions of unarmed-anarchist-labour-warrior -petition-bearers with digicams who are clearly pre-occupied with preventing provocations pre-meditatively?
TriplesHitWithoutBeingBornOnThird Update: Frank Frink, working at DKos and A Creative Revolution has really worked over the Quebec Provincial Police's Official Statement that we have below and in doing so has cleaned up the translation.
Well, here it is from the CBC (shamelessly stenoing here to make sure it's all recorded for posterity):
Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protest at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que.
The YouTube video shows Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, ordering three masked men back from a line of riot police.
However, the police force denied allegations its undercover officers were there on Monday to provoke the crowd and instigate violence.
"At no time did the police of the Sûreté du Québec act as instigators or commit criminal acts," the police force said in French in a news release. "It is not in the police force's policies, nor in its strategies, to act in that manner."
"At all times, they responded within their mandate to keep order and security."
Police said the undercover officers were only at the protest to locate and identify non-peaceful protesters in order to prevent any incidents.
Police came under fire Tuesday, when a video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to show three plain-clothed police officers at the protest with bandanas and masks across their faces. One of the men was carrying a rock.
In the video, protest organizers in suits order the men to put the rock down, call them police instigators and try unsuccessfully to unmask them.
Protest organizers on Wednesday played the video for the media at a news conference in Ottawa. One of the organizers, union leader Dave Coles, explained that one reason protesters knew the men's true identities was because they were wearing the same boots as other police officers.
Coles on Wednesday said the only thing he didn't know was whether the men were Quebec police, RCMP or hired security officers.
"[Our union] believes that the security force at Montebello were ordered to infiltrate our peaceful assembly and provoke incidents," Coles, who is president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, said at the time.
The protest at Montebello occurred outside the Fairmont Le Château Montebello hotel, near Ottawa, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. The summit about border security, free trade and other issues began Monday and finished Tuesday.
Protesters said they gathered to voice their concern about Canada losing control of its energy, water resources and borders. Others decried what they said was a high level of secrecy at the summit.
And here it is, directly from the Surete du Quebec (Quebec Provincial Police), first en francaise:
La Sûreté du Québec précise certains faits concernant le Sommet de Montebello
23 août 2007
À la suite de la diffusion d’un extrait vidéo sur le site Internet Youtube.com, impliquant possiblement des membres de la Sûreté du Québec lors du Sommet de Montebello, cette dernière aimerait apporter certaines précisions. Après avoir analysé son contenu, en plus de prendre connaissance des vidéos enregistrées par les corps policiers, elle est maintenant en mesure de confirmer que ces individus sont des policiers de la Sûreté du Québec. Ces derniers avaient le mandat de repérer et d’identifier les manifestants non pacifiques pour ainsi éviter les débordements. Les policiers ont été repérés par les manifestants au moment où ils ont refusé de lancer des projectiles.
En aucun temps, les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec ont agi comme agents provocateurs ou commis des actes criminels. De plus, ce n’est pas dans les politiques du service de police ni dans ses stratégies d’agir de cette manière. À tout moment, ils ont répondu à leur mandat de maintenir l’ordre et la sécurité.
And here it is in English, from the Google Translator, courtesy of the Great Aunty Bertha (with a little help from the BoingBoing):
Following the diffusion of a video extract on Internet site Youtube.com, possibly implying members of the Safety of Quebec at the time of the Summit of Montebello, the latter would like to bring certain precise details. After having analyzed its contents, in addition to taking note of the vidéos recorded by the police bodies, it is able now to confirm that these individuals are police officers of the Safety of Quebec. The latter had the mandate to locate and identify the nonpeaceful demonstrators for thus avoiding the overflows. The police officers were located by the demonstrators at the time when they refused to launch projectiles.
As any time, the police officers of the Safety of Quebec acted like provocative or made agents criminal acts. Moreover, it is not in the policies of the service of police force nor in its strategies to act in this manner. Constantly, they answered their mandate to maintain the order and safety.
Me - I like the part about using their 'videos recorded by the police bodies', to aid in the identification - Ha! (see previous post).
And, of course, the part about their identification/outing when they refused to 'launch their projectiles' - Double Lord Ha! Ha!. (that'd be the 'half-a-mama-mia-culpa' part).