Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Letter on Implementation of the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion

Summer 2021 update

Dear Ms. Charette:

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP is an independent agency, distinct and independent of the RCMP. The Commission’s mandate is:

In order to deliver on that mandate, the Commission is committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive work place. In September 2020, the Commission established an Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Committee is:

To date, the Committee has examined issues such as the collection of race-based data, the use of gender-neutral language, and the implementation of the Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada. Although it pre-dates the Clerk’s Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service, the Committee and its work responds to the call:

Including voices from diverse backgrounds in the identification of systemic racism, discrimination and barriers to inclusion, and the design and implementation of actions to address them.

Response to Call to action

The Commission has taken a number of specific measures in response to the Clerk’s January 2021 Call to Action.

Of the nine Calls to Action, the Commission has focused its efforts on appointing Indigenous and racialized employees, recruiting highly qualified Indigenous candidates, and committing to personally learning about racism, reconciliation, equity and inclusion.


The Chairperson has called on the government to appoint an Indigenous and a racialized member to the Commission. Members are Governor-in-Council appointments. Having such representation at the highest levels of the Commission will bring the voices of those most impacted by racism and discrimination to the forefront. It will also contribute to the call for:

Including voices from diverse backgrounds in the identification of systemic racism, discrimination and barriers to inclusion, and the design and implementation of actions to address them.


The Commission has given priority to qualified candidates from employment equity groups across Canada when staffing positions. Most recently, the Commission specifically identified Indigenous candidates as a priority for a Senior Policy Advisor position. 


Commission staff have committed to personally learning about racism, reconciliation, equity and inclusion. The Chairperson, Senior Management, lawyers, investigators and  analysts have undertaken numerous training courses to inform and educate themselves, including but not limited to:

Challenges and barriers

The Commission is a micro-agency with approximately 70 employees. Given its small size and the limited promotional opportunities, it is challenging to recruit and promote Indigenous persons and, to a lesser extent, racialized persons. Although efforts have been made in the past to recruit Indigenous investigators, for example, the Commission has not been successful. However, one possible barrier may be the requirement to work in Ottawa or at the regional office in Vancouver. Now, with the possibility to work remotely, it is anticipated that future recruitment efforts may yield positive results.

The Official Languages Act and associated policies have ensured that Canadians will receive services in either official language, and both are the languages of work at the Commission. While the benefits of the Act and associated policies cannot be understated, it may act as a barrier to members of racialized communities who are bilingual in languages other than both official languages. As the nature of the Commission’s work often involves complaints from racialized communities, enabling the hiring of staff who speak other languages, in particular Indigenous languages, may assist in increasing potential applicants and the effectiveness of our outreach efforts.

Raising awareness and knowledge of the Commission and its activities among Canadians policed by the RCMP is another a challenge. While the Commission does
have a public education and outreach program, it would require significant resources to improve the awareness of the Commission as a potential employer to racialized groups.

That being said, the Commission will continue to conduct its outreach program with continued focus on racialized groups, in particular Indigenous and Northern communities, with messages of not only the existence and mandate of the Commission but also our potential as an employer.

Even among those aware of the Commission, there is an often held misconception that the Commission is not independent of the RCMP. As a result, potential employees from racialized communities may assume that the Commission struggles with issues brought to light within the RCMP, such as harassment and racism, and may decide not to join the organization.

Due to the Commission’s small size and limited opportunities in the past year, data collection to demonstrate our progress in increasing representation as described in the Call to Action is not practical or representative of our efforts. Single data points are available but, as single points, they do not reflect the reality of such a small organization. 

Tracking our progress can only be done over a very long window of observation or by relying on anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, reporting on these statistics may potentially violate the privacy of employees. The sample size is so small, it can easily be determined which employees self-identify, and those individuals may not wish to be publicly identified. Nonetheless, the Commission will collect this information for future updates.


The Commission will continue to leverage the efforts of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee to ensure that the Commission continues to further both its duty and expectations towards inclusion, diversity, and equity. While the priority will be to improve conditions for current employees, this will in turn make improvements for future employees as well.

Resources will continue to be dedicated to support an outreach and education line of activity to not only inform Canadians of the Commission and its mandate, but to specifically seek out engagements with First Nations, community groups, and other organizations that represent racialized communities. While the intent is to inform these communities of our existence and role, the Commission will also leverage the opportunities to demonstrate the need for representation of these communities among the Commission’s ranks.

Despite the small size of the Commission, all employment opportunities will continue to prioritize qualified applicants from Indigenous and racialized communities. The Commission is exploring opportunities to increase awareness of its position as a potential employer through student engagement. This is subject to planning and resource availability. 

Commitment to a hybrid work model may open consideration of the Commission as an employer of choice to potential applicants that would have otherwise passed on the opportunity. The Commission’s ability to extend telework arrangements to employees removes any perceived barriers to interested and qualified candidates residing outside the National Capital Region.


The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP recognizes that diversity within its organization has and will continue to enhance the service it provides to Canadians. It is also recognized that despite the Commission’s successes, there is room for significant improvement. Increasing the number of employees belonging to Indigenous and other racialized groups will make us stronger as an organization and ensure that we better represent and understand the very people we support in our day‑to-day efforts.

Michelaine Lahaie

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