OTTAWA, Feb. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Mr. Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission), today
released the Commission's report on its investigation into issues of
workplace harassment within the RCMP.
The Commission's investigation, launched on November 16, 2011, responded
to widespread reports alleging that female RCMP members had faced
systemic sexual harassment in the workplace. The Commission assessed
the handling of 718 workplace harassment complaints filed between
February 1, 2005, and November 16, 2011. The Commission also accepted
63 public submissions suggesting recommendations for change and
conducted a number of interviews with interested parties. Neither the
Commission's jurisdiction nor its mandate extend to making findings in
respect of individual harassment complaints made to the RCMP.
While the Commission was able to determine that RCMP policies addressing
harassment complaints were generally complied with, inconsistent
documentation and the number of ways in which harassment complaints
could be handled made comprehensive assessment difficult.
"The data examined does not support the assumption that the RCMP is
experiencing a systemic problem with workplace harassment, including
sexual harassment," said Mr. McPhail. "That being said, the simple
perception of the existence of systemic poor treatment of employees by
colleagues and supervisors, regardless of gender, has a huge impact on
both public confidence and the manner in which the police are
The Commission made 11 recommendations aimed at improving the manner in
which the RCMP deals with workplace conflict. In particular, the
enhanced reporting and tracking of harassment complaints;
centralized coordination and monitoring to increase the transparency and
consistency of the process, distancing it from divisional chains of
command and providing redress for those who believe they are
rigorous investigative standards, including timelines, in order to
increase complainants' confidence that decisions reached took into
account all relevant factors;
improved training; and
continual and publicly reported evaluation of efforts to enhance the
process for dealing with complaints of harassment.
"The issue of workplace conflict and harassment within the RCMP is
complex," said Mr. McPhail. "A simple pledge to root out moral
turpitude cannot address the many dimensions of this critical issue on
Although Bill C-42, currently before the House of Commons, provides
opportunities for enhancement to the RCMP's harassment and disciplinary
processes, the Commission also cautions that legislation itself cannot
provide a solution to the complex issue of workplace conflict.
"The most important task is changing the perception of many employees
and segments of the public that the organization is complicit in the
problem and as a result incapable of adequately addressing it," said
Mr. McPhail. "The recommendations of this report focus on building a
more rigorous and transparent process for addressing harassment in the
workplace, one which will have the full confidence of RCMP employees
and the public they serve."
It should be noted that the Commission's findings and recommendations
are independent of other processes underway in this matter. The
Commission's mandate is remedial in nature and does not address
criminal or civil liability.
The full report, including all the Commission's recommendations, can be
found on the Commission's website.
Follow the CPC on Twitter @CPC_CPP.
SOURCE: Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
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