Policy: Extension of the Time Limit to Submit a Complaint to the CRCC
1. Effective Date
- 1.1 This policy takes effect November 1, 2020.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC) is developing a suite of policy tools to enhance coherency and comprehensibility in the application of the governing legislation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act). These policy tools enhance the transparency and openness of the complaint, review and investigation processes. They also provide greater clarity in terms of receiving and resolving complaints made about the conduct of RCMP members and ensure that allegations are examined fairly and impartially.
As such, this policy applies to the Chairperson and all employees of the CRCC as defined within Part VI of the RCMP Act. It does not apply to the RCMP.
3. Policy Statement
- 3.1 Complaints are to be submitted within one year after the day the incident occurred (section 45.53(5) of the RCMP Act).
- 3.1.1 For example, an incident took place on May 5, 2020. The complainant may submit a complaint up to May 5, 2021.
- 3.1.2 Complaints may be submitted to either the CRCC, the RCMP or the provincial authority responsible for receiving complaints against police in the province in which the subject matter of the complaint took place.
- 3.1.3 The CRCC can receive complaints by mail (including courier), online and fax.
- 3.2 However, there are circumstances that may justify a time limit extension. Either the RCMP or the CRCC (whichever entity receives the complaint first) will evaluate the request on a case-by-case basis (section 45.53(6) of the RCMP Act).
- 3.3 A complainant may be asked to provide a justification for the reasons why a complaint was filed outside of the one-year time limit. Unless it causes hardship, the complainant will be asked to provide the justification in writing.
- 3.4 Either the RCMP or the CRCC may grant a time limit extension if there are good reasons and an extension is not contrary to the public interest.
- 3.5 If the CRCC does not extend the time limit for making the complaint, it will notify the RCMP and the complainant, unless it is not appropriate to do so.
- 3.6 If the RCMP does not extend the time limit for making the complaint, the RCMP will notify the complainant and the CRCC.
- 3.7 Where the CRCC determines that a complaint is closely related to national security, the one-year time limit does not apply and the complaint will be forwarded to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. The CRCC will notify the complainant of the referral, unless it is not appropriate to do so.
4. Guiding Principles
- 4.1 The Chairperson or their delegate will review the request for time limit extension submitted by the complainant based on the following non-exhaustive criteria:
- 4.1.1 Continuing intention to pursue the matter;
- 4.1.2 Prejudice to the opposing party;
- 4.1.3 Reasonable explanation for the delay;
- 4.1.4 Whether the submission discloses an arguable case; and
- 4.1.5 Any other relevant factors.
- 4.2 The Chairperson or their delegate will notify the complainant in writing of the decision and, if the request is refused, the reasons for the refusal.
5. Roles and Responsibilities
- 5.1 Chairperson: exercises the discretionary authority to grant or deny the request for time limit extension. In addition, the Chairperson may also delegate the authority to grant or deny a time limit extension but retains the ability to withdraw the delegation at any time.
- 5.2 Delegate: CRCC employee delegated by the Chairperson to make a decision regarding time limit extensions. The delegate is responsible for the assessment of the request on a case-by-case basis to determine if the CRCC should grant a time limit extension. The delegate is responsible for notifying the complainant in writing of the CRCC's decision.
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