Frequently Asked Questions

When was the RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) established?

The RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) was established in 1986.

Why was the RCMP External Review Committee (ERC) established? 

The ERC exists so that RCMP members can, either on their own or through a representative, have an independent civilian oversight body weigh in on appeals of, or challenges to, certain internal labour relations decisions before the decisions are disposed of by the Commissioner or their delegate. 

How does the work of the ERC differ from that of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) for the RCMP?

The ERC and the CRCC are separate organizations. Each has its own, distinct mandate under the RCMP Act (set out in Part II of the Act for the ERC and in Part VI of the Act for the CRCC).

The CRCC reviews complaints made by the public concerning the conduct of RCMP members while performing a duty or function under the RCMP Act or the Witness Protection Program Act (e.g. criminal investigations, policing public events, security assignments or intelligence operations).

The ERC reviews appeals made by RCMP members of decisions taken by RCMP managers in certain internal RCMP proceedings. The ERC does not have a mandate to respond to complaints from the public regarding the on-duty conduct of RCMP members.

What is the structure of the ERC and how many employees does it have?

See Org Chart

The RCMP Act provides for the appointment by the Governor in Council of a full-time ERC Chair, a full or part-time Vice Chair and up to three additional members full or part time. The Chair is the chief executive officer of the ERC and has supervision over and direction of the work and staff of the ERC.

The staff of the ERC includes expert legal counsels, program administrators in corporate and registry services, a General Counsel and Director of Operations, a Director General of Corporate Services & CFO and a Registrar. 

Who is the current Chair of the ERC?

The Chair of the ERC is Mr. Charles Randall Smith, who was appointed for a five-year term effective June 18, 2019. There is currently no Vice Chair and there are no other members appointed to the ERC.

Can the ERC hold hearings?

The Commissioner has historically agreed with the majority of the ERC’s recommendations. You can consult the ERC’s Annual Report for how many of those recommendations were accepted in a given year.

How often has the RCMP Commissioner accepted the ERC's recommendations?

La commissaire a toujours accepté la majorité des recommandations du CEE. Vous pouvez consulter le rapport annuel du CEE pour savoir combien de ces recommandations ont été acceptées au cours d’une année donnée.

Who does the work of the ERC benefit and how?

The work of the ERC benefits RCMP members, the Force as an organization, and Canadians in a number of ways:

ERC findings and recommendations support the operation and efficiency of the RCMP recourse system. In certain instances, the recommendations provided for one case file will address issues relevant to other files with implications for many RCMP members. The ERC's recommendations also contribute to improvements made to RCMP policies and management practices (e.g. to new training for RCMP managers or to new or amended guidelines for decision makers) and to systemic change within the Force over time.

What issues do ERC findings and recommendations typically address?

ERC findings and recommendations address the particular issues raised by each individual file. The issues that are addressed very much depend on the file in question and will vary from case to case as each referred file is unique.

Examples of ERC findings include whether legal tests or policy requirements have been adequately addressed by a decision maker or whether processes in a case were fair (e.g. was the right of a member to be heard respected?). Recommendations could be to: change conduct measures to be imposed on a member to align them more closely with Force guidelines; hold a new hearing because an initial recourse process did not follow the principles of procedural fairness; make a finding that should have been made in the original decision; or, otherwise agree with or  alter an initial decision in whole or in part.

[Search summaries of ERC findings and recommendations provided to the RCMP]

How many files does the ERC review every year, and what kinds of files?

The number of files reviewed by the ERC yearly greatly depends on the volume of the files and the complexity of issues raised.

The ERC currently manages two streams of cases referred to it by the RCMP: one stream under the RCMP Act and RCMP Regulations as amended in November 2014; and, another under the former legislation for cases that were commenced within the RCMP prior to November 2014. Additional details may be found at this link - Cases Subject to Review.

Cases referred under the current legislation began arriving at the ERC in the spring of 2015. The kinds of cases received to date have been appeals of decisions related to findings of RCMP member misconduct and related measures imposed (e.g., forfeiture of more than one day's pay, demotion or dismissal of a member), decisions following investigations of harassment complaints, to discharge a member due to disability or poor performance, and for stoppages of a member’s pay and allowances.

Most legacy cases referred to the ERC have dealt with financial compensation to members (e.g. disputed travel claims, relocation costs or isolated post expenses), with harassment-related grievances, disciplinary files and a number of other kinds of cases accounting for the remainder of referrals in smaller numbers (e.g. medical discharge, human rights issues, suspension of member pay and allowances).  

Additional information on the numbers and types of cases referred to the ERC, and on the findings and recommendations issued by the ERC for referred files, can be found in the ERC Chair Annual Reports to Parliament.

In what ways is the ERC independent – Who does it report to?

The ERC is an independent administrative tribunal working at arm's length from the Government of Canada. It is distinct from and independent of the RCMP and other bodies, with its own Chief Executive Officer and deputy head (the Chairperson of the ERC). This is essential to maintaining the impartiality of the ERC and of the work it does. The mandate of the ERC is set out in Part II of the RCMP Act.

The RCMP Act requires the Chair of the ERC to report directly to Parliament each year on the activities and recommendations of the ERC. The Minister of Public Safety is responsible for tabling of the annual report of the Chair in Parliament.

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