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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP

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Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome:

Upholding safe communities through the promotion of Canadian values of respect for human and civil rights, multiculturalism and diversity, equality and fairness, and respect for the rule of law.

Program Activity Name:

Civilian review of RCMP members’ conduct in the performance of their duties.

Program Activity Description:

The CPC is an independent federal agency established in 1988 to review public complaints about

the conduct of RCMP members in a fair and impartial manner.

The fundamental role of the CPC is to provide civilian oversight of RCMP members’ conduct in the performance of their policing duties. The CPC holds the RCMP accountable to the public by providing, at the request of complainants, an independent review of the RCMP’s disposition of complaints and by making recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner.

Members of the public may make complaints about the conduct of RCMP members to the RCMP, the CPC or the provincial authority responsible for policing. Complaints are normally sent to the RCMP first. The RCMP Commissioner is required to report the results of investigations to complainants. If complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of the complaint, they may ask the CPC for a review of their case. The Chair of the CPC may also initiate a complaint if he considers there are reasonable grounds.

When reviewing a complaint, the CPC does not act as an advocate either for the complainant or for RCMP members. Rather, its role is to conduct an independent inquiry and reach objective conclusions based on the information available.

In conducting its review, the CPC considers all relevant information provided by the complainants and the RCMP. If not satisfied that such information is complete, it asks the RCMP for additional information or, where appropriate, conducts its own independent investigation.

The Chair also has the authority to hold a public interest hearing to inquire into a complaint.

If the Chair or Vice-Chair is not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of a complaint, the CPC produces an interim report of its findings and recommendations; after the RCMP Commissioner replies to the interim report, a final report is forwarded to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to the Commissioner of the RCMP and to the parties. Alternatively, if the Chair or Vice-Chair concludes that the RCMP responded adequately to the complainant's concerns, a final report is delivered stating that the RCMP’s handling of the complaint was satisfactory.

Because of its role, the CPC is in a unique position to contribute to the overall Government of Canada outcomes, more specifically to safe and secure communities.

Expected Results:

  1. The CPC’s findings and recommendations are accepted by the RCMP Commissioner.
  2. The CPC’s recommendations are influencing RCMP conduct and national policing policy.

This single program activity supports each of the CPC’s priorities in a number of ways, for, in order to be effective in providing civilian review of RCMP members’conduct the CPC must provide a service that is open and accessible to the communities it serves. The process should be efficient and effective, providing for a timely and quality product; it must be carried out by dedicated and committed public servants who work in a healthy and fulfilling environment and led by a team that can deliver within the management and policy frameworks laid down by Parliament and the Central Agencies.

Over the next year and throughout the planning period the CPC will work to support and influence the government’s position/actions flowing from the recommendations of Justice O’Connor on the independent review of national security activities. It will report its findings with respect to the Kingsclear public interest investigation.  It will begin a program of enhanced research and information management capacity with the intention of devoting more resources to the analysis of emerging trends and providing strategic policy advice to government. It will expand its outreach and communications function to reach marginalized and disaffected communities and it will continue to foster a workplace of choice.