Minister Goodale announces funding for the RCMP External Review Committee to expedite review of cases
October 5, 2017
Public Safety Canada
All Canadians have the right to a healthy and productive workplace. The RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) provides an important service to Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members – and the RCMP itself – by carrying out impartial civilian reviews of labour and employment grievances. The work of the ERC contributes to an effective national police force for Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness announced $8.1 million of new funding over four years to address the backlog of cases currently with the ERC for review.
Delays in responding to grievances negatively impact the individuals involved in the cases, as well as their workplace, their coworkers’ faith in the system and the public’s perception of the management of the RCMP.
“The Prime Minister and I are committed to ensuring that the RCMP is a healthy workplace and the RCMP External Review Committee is an important part in achieving that goal. New funding for the ERC will enable cases to be reviewed in a more timely way, helping address disputes between officers and management more swiftly. Timely review of the matters referred to the ERC is critical to the RCMP’s work environment, as well as the credibility of its human resources processes.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The new funding recognizes the critical need for the ERC to be able to address its backlog of cases and to undertake reviews in a more timely manner. We are very aware of the impacts of delays in our review of cases on both RCMP members and on the Force itself. Preparations are underway to utilize the funding as soon as possible to hire and train additional staff. We also remain committed to improving our internal efficiency to better serve members, the RCMP and Canadians.”
- Elizabeth Walker, Chair of the RCMP External Review Committee
The ERC conducts independent and impartial civilian reviews of appeals of certain labour and employment matters affecting RCMP members. Following its review of an appeal case, the ERC issues findings and recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner, for final decision.
Matters reviewed include appeals of harassment investigation decisions, as well as decisions to impose financial penalties or dismiss an RCMP member for misconduct, and to discharge a member for poor performance or medical reasons.
The role of the ERC is distinct from that of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC), which addresses public complaints.
The number of cases referred to the ERC each year has more than doubled historical numbers since the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act came into force in 2014. The organization now receives cases for review under both the current and previous legislation, and referrals are expected to remain high for the next several years.
The funding announced today will enable the ERC to hire, train and integrate new staff, including additional lawyers to review cases. The funds will complement internal changes the ERC already made to streamline its processes, enabling it to complete 31% more cases in 2016/2017 than the year before.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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