An update on the process for selecting the new Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

News Release

June 29, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario
Public Safety Canada

The most important responsibility of any government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. In Canada, under the leadership of its Commissioner, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) plays a central role in helping the Government fulfill this responsibility.

Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, provided an update on the process underway to select a new RCMP Commissioner. Mr. Frank McKenna will chair the Selection Committee responsible for developing and recommending a list of highly qualified candidates for the Minister’s consideration, and based upon which he will make his recommendation to the Prime Minister. The full list of Committee members and their Terms of Reference will be announced shortly.

A Notice of Appointment Opportunity will be posted in the coming weeks. Applications will be reviewed and highly qualified applicants who best meet the selection criteria will be invited to an interview and further assessments. These candidates will need to advance the government’s critical priorities of a nation-to-nation reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples, its commitment to gender equity, supporting employees suffering from mental health-related illness, addressing harassment in the workplace, and protecting Canadians’ civil liberties.

The Government of Canada intends to move promptly in announcing the name of the new Commissioner. In the interim, Deputy Commissioner Daniel Dubeau will assume the role of Acting Commissioner, in accordance with Section 15 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act.

Commissioner Bob Paulson will officially retire from the RCMP on June 30, after more than 30 years of service and dedication. Over the course of his tenure, Commissioner Paulson made significant contributions, including: advocating for a modernized RCMP; taking steps to better protect first responders and Canadians by prioritizing the national roll-out of naloxone kits for use on police and citizens exposed to fentanyl; being instrumental in the Merlo–Davidson class action harassment settlement announced in October 2016; and advocating for the mental health and well-being of RCMP employees, launching a five-year mental health strategy in 2014.


“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring an open, transparent and merit-based process in selecting the new RCMP Commissioner. The individual selected will need to demonstrate exemplary leadership qualities to advance the RCMP’s efforts in addressing important issues of mental health and harassment in the workplace, while affirming the highest degree of public confidence in this world-class police service. The Government recognizes the importance of the heritage and tradition of the RCMP, as well as the need to modernize the Force – enabling it to more effectively address long-term issues.”

-  The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“I would like to thank Commissioner Paulson for his contributions during his more than 30 years of service with the RCMP. He has had an outstanding career in policing, including positions ranging from front-line policing, major crimes and unsolved homicides, Aboriginal and community policing, and serious and organized crime. As the Commissioner he demonstrated his dedication to both the institution of the RCMP and in the protection of Canadian communities.”

-  The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick Facts

  • In February 2016, the Government of Canada adopted a new, more rigorous approach to Governor in Council (GiC) appointments, such as the Commissioner of the RCMP.

  • This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that are open to all Canadians.

  • Candidates must be able to perform their duties with integrity and the highest levels of ethical behaviour and professionalism.


Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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