Complaint and Review Process

Complaints

Complaints may be made by:

  • any individual; or
  • the Chair of the Commission.

Complaints may be made to:

  • the Commission;
  • any member or employee of the RCMP; or
  • the designated provincial policing authority.

No matter what entity the complaint is filed with, the RCMP will generally investigate it and issue a Final Report to the complainant.

Reviews

A complainant who is not happy with the RCMP's response to his/her complaint may refer the complaint to the Commission for review. After reviewing the complaint, the Commission must decide whether or not it is satisfied with the RCMP Final Report.

If the Commission is satisfied with the RCMP's Final Report, the Commission reports this finding in writing to the complainant, the RCMP member(s) involved, the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Minister of Public Safety.

If the Commission is not satisfied with the RCMP's Final Report, the Commission may:

  • send an Interim Report with findings and recommendations to the Minister of Public Safety and the RCMP Commissioner;
  • ask the RCMP to investigate or further investigate the complaint;
  • initiate its own investigation; or
  • hold a public hearing.

After receiving an Interim Report from the Commission, the Commissioner of the RCMP informs the Commission and the Minister of Public Safety in writing of any action to be taken in response to the Commission's findings and recommendations, including the rationale for deciding not to take any action. Lastly, the Commission prepares a Final Report that includes the text of the Commissioner's response as well as the Commission's final recommendations and sends it to the complainant, the RCMP member(s) involved, the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Minister of Public Safety. A copy is also sent to the minister responsible for policing in the province in which the complaint arose.

Chair-Initiated Complaint

Where the Chair of the Commission feels that there are reasonable grounds to investigate the conduct of a member of the RCMP, he/she may initiate a complaint in relation to that conduct. A Chair-initiated complaint is treated the same as a complaint from a member of the public. Therefore, it will be investigated by the RCMP unless the Commission decides to conduct its own investigation or call a hearing to inquire into it.

Investigations and Hearings

In addition to the Commission's power to investigate or hold a hearing into a complaint where it is dissatisfied with the RCMP's Final Report, the Commission may also conduct an investigation or initiate a hearing to inquire into any complaint where the Chair of the Commission feels that it would be in the public interest to do so, even if the RCMP has not already investigated the complaint. This is called a public interest investigation or a public interest hearing. Public interest investigations are commonly instituted into Chair-initiated complaints.

At the conclusion of a public interest investigation or public interest hearing, an Interim Report containing findings and recommendations is prepared and sent to the Minister of Public Safety and the RCMP Commissioner.

The RCMP Commissioner is required to respond to the Interim Report, indicating whether the RCMP has acted or will act on the Report's findings and recommendations. If the Commissioner decides not to act on any findings or recommendations set out in the Report, the Commissioner must include the reasons for not doing so. After considering the RCMP Commissioner's response, the Commission issues a Final Report. Where the circumstances warrant, the Commission may make any of its reports public.

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