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Harper dodges questions on RCMP's anti-Insite research

Stephen Harper did his best to dodge jabs by the local media yesterday as the federal election drags into its final rounds.

When asked what he thought of the RCMP funding anti-Insite research with taxpayer dollars, the conservative leader – surrounded by a blue-clad mod chanting “Harper! Harper!” during a media conference at Richmond’s Delta Vancouver Airport hotel – did his best to duck the question.

“I asked [Health Minister Tony] Clement to undertake a full range of reviews of that particular issue and he came back with a recommendation the government is following,” Harper said. “When it comes to drug use, we want to make sure that we expend our resources on treatment and prevention.”

Harper was careful to make no mention of the controversy surrounding e-mails that suggest Tory MP's consulted with Vancouver RCMP officials who commissioned studies critical of Vancouver's supervised injection site.

On Wednesday, the Pivot Legal Society accused the Mounties of hiring criminologists to critique existing research on the supervised injection site.

RCMP spokesperson Const. Annie Linteau told 24 hours that the force did nothing wrong and routinely “conduct research on a variety of topics and issues” that may affect policing.

Matt Kieltyka and Irwin Loy report for Vancouver's 24 hours.

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