Terms of Reference: Chair-Initiated Complaint and Public Interest Investigation Regarding Issues of RCMP Workplace Harassment

As Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, I am initiating a complaint into the conduct of those unidentified RCMP members who have been notified, at any time between February 1, 2005, and November 16, 2011, of allegations of harassment by members or employees of the RCMP.

I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for me to initiate this complaint, following the concerns expressed by RCMP members and members of the public through the media that allegations of workplace harassment have not been and are not adequately addressed by the management of the RCMP. The Commission will examine policies, procedures, and guidelines having national application. The Commission's mandate is remedial in nature, and aims to identify any improvements that could be made, if appropriate, with the goal of satisfying the public's interest in enhancing and maintaining confidence in the national police force.

Accordingly, pursuant to subsection 45.37(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act), I am initiating this complaint into the conduct of RCMP members as outlined above, specifically:

  1. Whether those RCMP members notified of allegations of harassment adhered to the appropriate legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines in respect of workplace harassment;
  2. Whether RCMP members conducting investigations into allegations of workplace harassment did so in a thorough and impartial manner; and
  3. Whether existing RCMP policies, procedures and guidelines are adequate to ensure that allegations regarding RCMP members engaged in workplace harassment are dealt with fairly, effectively and thoroughly. Furthermore, I am instituting a public interest investigation into this complaint, pursuant to subsection 45.43(1) of the RCMP Act.

In conducting its public interest investigation, the Commission may assess either each instance or a random sample of instances identified in order to make its findings and recommendations, but will not make a determination in respect of the harassment alleged in individual cases.

Member conduct is to be assessed in accordance with whether RCMP members between February 1, 2005, and November 16, 2011, properly applied the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines, including:

  • Timeliness of the response
    • Whether the RCMP members, having been notified of allegations of harassment, responded to those allegations in a timely fashion.
  • Choice of process
    • Whether RCMP members reasonably considered, following receipt of complaints of harassment, if investigation pursuant to the RCMP's Code of Conduct was necessary and whether other means of resolution were appropriate.
  • Conduct
    • Whether the conduct of RCMP members responsible for investigating the allegation(s) in each case was reasonable and consistent with section 37 of the RCMP Act.
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