Request to the RCMP Commissioner seeking his full support and collaboration
APR 20 2016
Commissioner Robert W. Paulson
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
73 Leikin Drive, M5 Building
3rd floor, Suite 101, Mailstop 47
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OR2
Dear Commissioner Paulson:
I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of March 9, 2016, providing a brief update on the RCMP's implementation of recommendations made in the Commission's 2013 Public Interest Investigation Report into RCMP Workplace Harassment and for identifying Superintendent Konrad Shourie as the point of contact. I understand that work is currently underway to provide the Commission with its preliminary request for relevant material.
As requested by the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, the Commission's comprehensive follow-up investigation will review the adequacy, appropriateness, sufficiency and clarity of RCMP national policies, procedures, guidelines and training in relation to workplace harassment, including whether these are consistent with the recommendations set out in the Commission's 2013 Public Interest Investigation into RCMP Workplace Harassment, and to what extent the 11 recommendations have been implemented. The investigation will also review the status of the RCMP's implementation of the Gender and Respect- RCMP Action Plan and assess the effectiveness of these measures to address workplace harassment.
In addition, to assess whether RCMP harassment investigations are being carried out in accordance with policies, the Commission's review will include an examination of the RCMP's handling of harassment complaints. While the review will not make determinations in relation to specific complaints, such information may inform the broader review and help identify any systemic issues. The Commission will interview representatives of the responsible policy centres, as part of the policy and file review. Furthermore, we will seek to meet with RCMP members and employees more broadly, in an effort to assess the current nature and extent of workplace harassment and to examine to what degree, if any, RCMP culture contributes to harassment in the workplace.
This consultation process will be a key component of the Commission's comprehensive investigation - providing a unique opportunity for RCMP members and employees to share their personal views and experiences in the workplace, if they wish. In order to do so, access to and the cooperation of RCMP members and employees are essential. To that end, I am seeking your support to facilitate such access and cooperation. In April 2015, you issued the Internal Framework on Interacting with the CRCC, which precludes RCMP members and employees from interacting directly with the Commission, without prior authorization.
I request that you authorize and encourage all members and employees who wish to contact the Commission directly be allowed to do so, for the purpose of this investigation. Furthermore, I request that you authorize members and employees to be contacted by the Commission, as the Commission may determine to be appropriate. Having access to members and employees who feel they can speak freely to the Commission without fear of reprisal is critical to ensuring that the Commission can report on this important issue. As such, I would like to extend confidentiality to any member or employee who wishes to contact the Commission with their personal experiences. In that regard, I am also seeking a written commitment from you that the RCMP will not seek the disclosure of information which the Commission derives from such interviews, written submissions or possible surveys or focus groups.
The support and cooperation of yourself and the senior leadership will be instrumental to the review's success and the Commission's ability to report to the Minister and you in a timely manner. I look forward to hearing from you. As always, I am available to discuss this matter further.
Ian McPhail, Q.C.
cc: The Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- Review of workplace harassment in the RCMP
- Request to the RCMP for an update on the implementation of the Commission's 11 recommendations (November 4, 2015)
- Notification to the RCMP Commissioner of the Commission's follow-up investigation (February 22, 2016)
- RCMP letter of acknowledgement (March 9, 2016)
- RCMP Commissioner's response clarifying the RCMP's Internal Framework (May 18, 2016)
- Request to the RCMP to have information about the Commission's investigation posted on the RCMP's internal website (June 1, 2016)
To learn more about the Commission's Chair-Initiated Complaint and Public Interest Investigation regarding issues of RCMP workplace harassment (2013), click here.
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