Restructuring of RCMP recommended to enhance civilian oversight and accountability

IAN McPhail, Chairperson of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), on Monday, releasing the conclusions of his systemic review on workplace harassment in the RCMP, said: “Harassment remains a serious and persistent problem for the RCMP. Despite some efforts, the RCMP has failed to effect the necessary changes in a meaningful or systematic way. The Commission proposes key reforms to address harassment. These recommendations include improving the culture of leadership, strengthening key policies, procedures and training, and developing professionalization of the RCMP. Most importantly, it is necessary to rethink the governance structure of the RCMP.”

The Executive Summary notes: “The senior leadership of the RCMP has therefore demonstrated over the last several decades that it is incapable of making the systemic reforms necessary to effect cultural change on its own. In part, this is because a singular focus on harassment tends to obscure the broader challenges that exist. While harassment is a real problem in the RCMP, it has also become a catch-all phrase through which RCMP members and employees express a broad array of concerns arising out of a dysfunctional organizational culture. Ultimately, only a change in the governance structure of the RCMP will be effective in bringing about the cultural transformation necessary to address the range of factors that give rise to harassment, bullying, abuse of authority, and sexual harassment in the RCMP. At a minimum, and as recommended in previous reports, this should include appointing civilian experts to key senior administrative roles and restructuring the RCMP to enhance civilian oversight and accountability.”

He noted: “This is a comprehensive review where we set out to examine the RCMP’s policies, procedures and training on workplace harassment, to study the extent to which RCMP culture contributes to harassment and a follow-up to the recommendations I made to the RCMP in my 2013 report on this matter,” said Mr. McPhail.

In February 2016, the CRCC launched the review following a request from the Minister of Public Safety to look into the issue of harassment within the RCMP. The report contains 9 findings and makes 11 recommendations to the RCMP and the Minister of Public Safety aimed at addressing what is a longstanding issue with harassment within the Force.

For more information on the CRCC, visit: