Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

June 20, 2012 16:51 ET

Harper Government Introduces the Enhancing RCMP Accountability Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 20, 2012) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

The Harper Government today tabled the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act. This Act will give the RCMP the tools it needs to enhance trust and restore accountability in its ranks. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais made the announcement in Ottawa.

"The RCMP is recognized around the world as a symbol of who we are as Canadians, and what we value: professionalism, honesty, integrity and compassion," said Minister Toews. "However, Canadians' confidence in the RCMP has been tested over the past few years and this legislation will ensure that the RCMP is fully accountable for its actions and is open and transparent in its service to Canadians."

The Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act will:

  • Help modernize the RCMPs discipline, grievance and human resource management framework, including new measures to create a single, seamless and comprehensive investigation and resolution process for sexual harassment complaints where the respondent is a member of the Force. It is also providing the Commissioner the direct authority to discharge members for various non-disciplinary administrative reasons.
  • Create a modern and independent Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP to replace the existing Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP and provide it with enhanced powers to carry out its mandate.
  • Establish a statutory framework for handling criminal investigations of serious incidents involving RCMP members, which will improve the transparency and public accountability of these investigations.

"The vast majority of RCMP employees perform an exemplary service to Canadians and deserve our support and respect," said RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, who joined Minister Toews for the announcement. "The RCMP strongly supports increased accountability and police management efficiencies so that those few members who fall short of the expectations of the RCMP can be dealt with in an expedient and appropriate manner."

"The RCMP must be able to focus on what they are trained and sworn to do - protect Canadians," said Senator Dagenais. "Through our action, we are ensuring that the RCMP remains accountable to the public it serves, and a trusted and responsive organization for generations to come."

The legislation introduced today builds on the accountability mechanisms included in the new 2012-2032 Police Services Agreements recently signed by Contract Provinces and Territories. These Agreements both strengthen the RCMP's relationship with its contract partners and contribute to the broader modernization efforts of the RCMP.

Backgrounders:

  • Increasing RCMP Accountability through a new Civilian Review and Complaints Commission
  • Improving the Transparency and Public Accountability of Serious Criminal Investigations of Incidents involving RCMP Members
  • Modernizing the RCMP's Discipline, Grievance and Human Resource Management Framework

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