News | Senator Grant Mitchell introduces civilian review and oversight legislation for the RCMP

18 June 2015

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Ottawa, June 18, 2015 - Senator Grant Mitchell has tabled legislation to create a civilian review and oversight council for the RCMP, as well as an Ombudsperson, measures which will begin to address allegations of harassment within the Force.

The legislation will create a council which will independently review and oversee the operations of the Force in order to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency, as well as provide an essential balance between public accountability and police independence. The council will also review the planning, development and implementation of the strategic priorities, policies, procedures and guidelines of the force. In addition, the legislation will create the position of Ombudsperson, which will act as the investigator and reporter on all matters related to the fair and equitable treatment of past and serving members and civilian employees.

"This is a big step in the right direction,” said Alberta Senator Grant Mitchell. "Over the past few years I have been working with injured members who have expressed the need for better review and oversight mechanisms to address allegation of harassment in the Force. I made the recommendation in a past Senate committee report and in an independent report, and now I want to make it a reality.”

Sherry Benson-Podolchuk, a former member who has spoken out against harassment in the RCMP, commended Senator Mitchell on this bill. "This legislation will provide all members of the RCMP – past, present and future – with protection and recourse for crimes committed against them and further protection from those officers who would seek to punish victims who speak up on the systemic problems of harassment, bullying and the culture of protectiveness deeply embedded in in the culture of the RCMP."

In spite of the upcoming end of the parliamentary session, Senator Mitchell chose to table this bill in order to continue debate on this important issue. He intends to reintroduce it at the start of the next session. "This legislation is urgently needed," he said. “I look forward to working with the next government to pass it into law."

 

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Related links:

Conduct Becoming: Why The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Must Transform its Culture
(Report by Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence)

Shattered Dreams: Addressing Harassment and Systemic Discontent within the RCMP
(Report by Hon. Judy Sgro, M.P. and Senator Grant Mitchell)

 

For more information, please contact:
Kyle Johnston, Office of Senator Grant Mitchell
613-995-4254
Kyle.Johnston@sen.parl.gc.ca

 

 

Please click here to read this news release in French / Veuillez appuyer ici pour lire ce communiqué de presse en français

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