Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Taking action: The RCMP's strategy for implementing the Mass Casualty Commission Final Report recommendations

On this page

  1. We remember
  2. Alternate formats
  3. List of tables
  4. List of acronyms and abbreviations
  5. Commissioner's foreword
  6. Introduction
  7. A need for change
  8. Doing things differently
  9. The RCMP's approach – our strategy for implementation
  10. Performance measurement
  11. Partner engagement
  12. Accountability
  13. Potential risk factors
  14. Conclusion
  15. RCMP commitments and action items

We remember

  • Tom Bagley
  • Kristen Beaton and her unborn child
  • Greg and Jamie Blair
  • Joy and Peter Bond
  • Lillian Campbell
  • Corrie Ellison
  • Gina Goulet
  • Dawn and Frank Gulenchyn
  • Alanna Jenkins and Sean McLeod
  • Lisa McCully
  • Heather O'Brien
  • Jolene Oliver, Aaron and Emily Tuck
  • Constable Heidi Stevenson
  • E. Joanne Thomas and John Zahl
  • Joey Webber

Alternate formats

List of tables

List of acronyms and abbreviations

RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Commissioner's foreword

I am pleased to present the strategy detailing the RCMP's approach for implementing recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission.

The April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia had a scope and complexity never before seen in Canada. This incident changed the lives of many people — the victims and their families, their communities, the people of Nova Scotia, RCMP employees, a number of first responders, and countless others across the country.

First, I would like to thank the Mass Casualty Commission for its thoughtful, thorough review. The Commission, as well as the tragedy itself, highlighted an urgent need to improve our approach to preparing for and responding to crises, as well as learning from these events, in order to keep communities safe. It also made it clear that we must work holistically with law enforcement partners and community support services to help prevent future incidents from occurring.

Implementing these recommendations is changing how the RCMP operates. We continue to learn from our response to the April 2020 mass casualty. Our goal is to ensure that our response to the Commission's Final Report will have a lasting impact on our organization, as well as the communities we serve across Canada. In fact, the RCMP's work in Nova Scotia began immediately following the tragedy in Spring 2020.

We know that our response to previous reviews has not always been fulsome, and we haven't always been transparent about our progress to implement their findings and recommendations. As a concrete demonstration of our commitment to change, I created a new sector focused on reform, accountability and culture, which will lead our implementation efforts from a holistic, organization-wide approach. These efforts will continue to be supported by advice and guidance from the independent Management Advisory Board. We are also pleased that the RCMP is playing a key role in the Progress Monitoring Committee, an independent review body jointly created by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. Finally, we will continue to collaborate with all our policing partners across all jurisdictions to share best practices and make changes in lock step with one another where we can.

I want to also thank RCMP employees for their tremendous dedication and drive to implement meaningful change, which requires considerable time and sustained effort. I'm proud of the work we have accomplished already, and I look forward to the RCMP's continued change.

We are fully committed to strengthening the trust and confidence of Nova Scotians, and all the people we serve, and we will continue to work towards positive and meaningful changes to the policing landscape across Canada. I encourage everyone to follow our progress on our website, where we will continue to detail the changes we're making through this strategy.

Mike Duheme, RCMP Commissioner

Introduction

On April 18 and 19, 2020, 22 people lost their lives and three others were injured in several communities in the central part of Nova Scotia. What took place was unimaginable and will have lasting impacts on the victims and their families, the citizens of Nova Scotia and all Canadians.

In October 2020, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia established the Mass Casualty Commission to examine the incident and make meaningful recommendations to make communities safer. Its Final Report, issued in March 2023, outlines 130 recommendations that call for significant changes to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and to how we, as Canadians, approach community safety and policing.

The RCMP has an obligation to learn from the tragedy of April 2020 and identify where we can do better in order to help prevent such incidents in the future. Through this strategy, we set forth a path to meaningful change – across our organization and in the communities we serve – and contribute to broader efforts across the country to improve community safety and enact policing reforms. Change of this magnitude will take time, but we are committed to implementing long-term, impactful change and demonstrating progress to the victims, and families, and to all Canadians.

The Mass Casualty Commission, and other recent inquiries such as the Public Order Emergency Commission, call for significant changes to the overall public safety approach in Canada. These inquiries ask the RCMP to contribute to, and in some cases lead, this work, as well as take an integrated approach with community and health experts. They also stress this approach in order to meet growing community safety challenges in Canada, with police acting as one player in a broader spectrum of response. These inquiries also ask the RCMP, and policing services at large, to rethink how they train and equip their personnel to respond to incidents, and how they support communities before, during and after these incidents.

A need for change

The Mass Casualty Commission is the most significant review of the RCMP in decades. It calls for sweeping changes across many areas, such as managing crises, documenting and publishing policies and procedures, and communicating with the public throughout an incident. Some of these recommendations referenced those from reviews that the RCMP had received in the past. This emphasizes the RCMP's need to be more transparent with the actions it takes to understand and implement change – in Nova Scotia, and across the country.

Doing things differently

Immediate changes made after April 2020

The RCMP began work to address gaps identified immediately after the mass casualty incident, and throughout the Mass Casualty Commission proceedings. Early efforts include improvements such as:

  • Doubling the number of full-time resources on Nova Scotia's emergency response team.
  • Expanding the use of the Alert Ready system across Canada, including implementing national and divisional RCMP policies on public alerting.
  • Equipping all partner police agencies in Nova Scotia with capable radio communication encryption and ensuring preparedness through regular testing.
  • Rolling out Blue Force Tracking across Nova Scotia to track the locations of police officers in real time and enhance situational awareness.
  • Launching a new course on Collaborative Police Action on intimate partner violence.

Over the past five years, the RCMP has been engaged in sweeping modernization efforts. This effort has been in response to several reviews of the organization, such as Broken Lives, Broken Dreams: The Devastating Effects of Sexual Harassment On Women in the RCMP written by The Honourable Michel Bastarache, which served as a catalyst for culture change within the RCMP. Through these efforts, the RCMP has approached implementation differently by focusing not just on completing recommendations, but assessing impacts and factors that must be addressed to realize effective and long-term change.

Following the release of the Mass Casualty Commission's Final Report in March 2023, the RCMP undertook a comprehensive review of its findings and recommendations. From there, the RCMP realized it needed to adopt a new, organizational-wide approach to implementing the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations. This was based on the scope of the review and the RCMP's historical ability to implement change. The RCMP recognized it needed to assign dedicated resources to focus not only on the immediate implementation efforts, but also the long-term monitoring of implementation. The RCMP wanted to be sure not to repeat failures of the past, by ensuring long-term accountability and transparency of implementation efforts.

As such, since the release of the Final Report, the RCMP has brought dedicated capacity, leadership and oversight to reform efforts. The Commissioner established a new Reform, Accountability and Culture sector in May 2023, which is responsible for fully addressing all major external reviews of the organization, as well as supporting the implementation of organizational modernization and culture change initiatives. As part of this new sector, a dedicated, interdisciplinary team has been created and tasked with providing centralized, strategic implementation of the RCMP's response to the Mass Casualty Commission Final Report, and other significant external reviews.

The RCMP's approach – our strategy for implementation

The RCMP is taking a holistic, organization-wide approach to implementing the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations. It has committed to improving services to enhance the safety of Nova Scotians and all Canadians. Fully addressing the recommendations will take time, but we have created the foundations for success, with support from and extensive collaboration with our partners at all levels.

Setting the stage

The RCMP's approach to implementing the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations is to go beyond a straightforward exercise of resolving recommendations to instead focus on creating conditions for sustained changes that address the underlying findings of the report. Efforts are cross-cutting and involve all necessary stakeholders, including the Canadian policing community. To do this effectively, the RCMP analyzed each Mass Casualty Commission recommendation to understand:

  • the principle of each recommendation and the underlying findings they address
  • the application of each recommendation within the context of the RCMP's structure and mandate
  • the broader context of other similar recommendations, from the Mass Casualty Commission and other significant external reviews

To support this analysis, the RCMP developed a strategic framework, as well as a set of guiding principles, to ensure that all efforts lead to long-term organizational reform in order to improve public safety. As part of its analysis, the RCMP conducted a risk-based prioritization exercise to identify which recommendations and themes required the most immediate attention and effort. This helped us ensure we are focusing first on recommendations that have the most significant impact on the safety and security of the public and RCMP personnel, as well as those that would help us restore trust with those most impacted by the tragedy.

The RCMP's overall response to the Mass Casualty Commission is grounded in the following Guiding Principles:

  1. Incidents that require a whole-of-organization approach are the new norm.
  2. Incidents need to be managed in a way that maintains public trust and confidence.
  3. The RCMP must work collaboratively with policing, first responder, government and community partners.
  4. There is a need to revisit community safety in Canada to better understand and address the drivers of mass casualty incidents.
  5. Precursors like gender-based violence and mental health require a whole-of-society approach.
  6. The RCMP must take a victim-centric and trauma-informed approach in all elements of reform.
  7. Information vacuums undermine public safety and confidence – transparency is essential.

The scope of the recommendations

The analysis confirmed that the RCMP has a role to play in advancing all 130 recommendations. However, the nature of that role varies across the recommendations. Specifically, the RCMP has categorized the recommendations as follows:

RCMP lead (33 recommendations)
The RCMP has the mandate to implement the recommendation.
RCMP contributor (55 recommendations)
The RCMP plays an important role, but is not able to advance the work on its own.
RCMP impacted (20 recommendations)
The RCMP will be impacted by some initiatives being led by other partners (for example, changes to legislation) and will need to adapt to and apply any resulting changes.
RCMP supporter (22 recommendations)
These recommendations are outside the RCMP's authorities and mandate, but there could be opportunity for the RCMP to support this work.

Our themes

Our analysis resulted in the identification of 10 themes, which we are using to group each of the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations, as follows:

  1. Managing crises

    Why
    A significant number of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations highlight the need to examine our entire approach to crisis management. This includes pre-incident planning, training and exercising, incident roles and inter-jurisdictional collaboration, as well as post-incident response, including support for those impacted. As such, the RCMP is examining its approach to identify improvements across this continuum in order to better serve and protect Canadians.
    Did you know?

    During the tragedy at James Smith Cree Nation in 2022, the RCMP relied heavily on Alert Ready messaging to keep citizens informed and safe. During and following the incident, the RCMP held numerous press conferences to keep all Canadians informed, to the extent possible, about the unfolding situation and the results of the investigation. This same approach was taken following the tragic bus crash in Manitoba, in 2023.

  2. Governance

    Why
    Multiple Mass Casualty Commission recommendations focus on the need for improved RCMP governance structures, such as improving oversight of the implementation of recommendations from major external reviews, and implementing the advice of the Management Advisory Board for the RCMP.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP has cross-referenced the Mass Casualty Commission recommendations with those from two recent inquiries: the Desmond Fatality Inquiry and the coroner's inquest into the 2022 incident at James Smith Cree Nation. This is helping us identify where ongoing efforts may overlap, and where additional RCMP efforts may be required.

  3. Gender-based and intimate partner violence

    Why
    While recognizing that the RCMP is not necessarily the primary lead on many community safety and gender-based violence-related recommendations, there is still a need for the organization to actively engage with its partners to support implementation. The RCMP must also review and update its policies, procedures and engagement with support services to ensure members are responding to these types of crimes through a trauma-informed and victim-centric approach.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP is currently working with experts to examine the use of supportive reporting centres for members of the public across the country to provide a safe, discreet place for victims to report instances of gender-based or intimate partner violence.

  4. Firearms

    Why
    The Final Report includes a number of recommendations related to improvements to firearms enforcement and prevention initiatives. As stewards of the Canadian Firearms Program, the RCMP has a role to play to enhance awareness surrounding firearms regulations, as well as the prevention of firearms violence.
    Did you know?

    The Canadian Firearms Program is updating its website to include more guidance on firearm transfers from estates, including proper disposal of firearms following the death of the owner.

  5. Information sharing

    Why
    The Mass Casualty Commission recommended the RCMP and its partners improve information sharing. This will ensure all partners have timely access to critical information to ensure effective decision making, and provide every opportunity to prevent an incident from occurring. The Mass Casualty Commission also recommends the RCMP improve its data management and system interoperability to better support evidence-based decision making.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP is reviewing and updating its operational information sharing policies to make sure it can more effectively share operational information across the organization, and also with its partners. It is also increasing its capacity to help coordinate and streamline operational policy development.

  6. Culture and accountability

    Why
    The Mass Casualty Commission exposed critical gaps that, compounded with previous high-profile reviews of RCMP culture, have eroded public confidence in the organization. Issues around diversity and inclusion, as well as its management culture impact employees' abilities to effectively do their jobs. These issues also harm the organization's ability to recruit a large pool of diverse and qualified applicants.
  7. Training

    Why
    Training is a major underlying theme of the Final Report. This includes a need to improve available training, as well as increasing awareness and uptake of existing training amongst our personnel. The RCMP also recognized the need to improve its training delivery at Depot, its training academy, as a result of numerous internal and external reviews. The RCMP will work towards improving both its basic cadet training and continuous learning regime for all of its employees.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP's training centre is called "Depot". The average age of a Depot cadet is 29, and a majority of cadets already possess post-secondary education. In addition, some Depot training programs count as credit towards post-secondary education and several post-secondary institutions across Canada have accredited programs in place to accept equivalencies. Depot has been engaged in a significant modernization effort for several years, in response to reviews such as the Management Advisory Board's Cadet Training Program report. Depot is working closely with academics at the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada to achieve this goal.

  8. Partnerships and engagement

    Why
    The Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations impact not only the RCMP, but also our partners at the federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and community level, as well as our Indigenous partners. It is therefore critical that the RCMP continue to work collaboratively with these partners, via organizations such as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, as it implements recommendations, and communicates its progress. The RCMP will also work across its divisions to ensure that proposed initiatives are supported and applicable in specific divisional contexts and environments.
  9. Resourcing and recruitment

    Why
    Ensuring the RCMP has sufficient capacity to achieve its mandate is critical. It is not just about bringing in more members – it is about finding diverse and capable candidates for this challenging profession. The RCMP faces challenges with vacancies, recruitment and retention that impacts every aspect of the organization. That is why the Commissioner has made recruiting one of his top three priorities, with a broad range of actions underway to modernize this critical function.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP launched its Diverse and Inclusive Pre-Cadet Experience, which is a new RCMP recruitment and retention initiative focused on removing systemic barriers that impact racialized and underrepresented persons who aspire to join the RCMP.

  10. Organizational standards

    Why
    The Mass Casualty Commission was clear that the RCMP must enhance its approach to reviewing, updating and communicating its operational and administrative policies. These changes will also impact RCMP standards, processes and protocols, and will ultimately result in an enhanced front-line response to critical incidents in the future.
    Did you know?

    The RCMP has reviewed and updated its procedures for uniform disposal and continues to monitor compliance to more effectively track and prevent possible misuse.

Identifying actions

With a framework in place for understanding how to approach the recommendations, the RCMP shifted focus to the most critical step in the approach: identifying the actions necessary to implement the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations. As part of this, we took stock of the work already underway or completed that aligned with the recommendations. In many cases, we recognized the need to go further, and identified new and future actions to fully meet the recommendation(s). Using its new approach – to go deeper than the recommendations themselves so we can respond to the real underlying issues that led to them – the RCMP sought to identify initiatives that would also resolve the root causes of issues raised in the Final Report.

From July to November 2023, the RCMP held 16 engagement sessions with hundreds of subject matter experts from across the country to discuss each recommendation within the relevant theme as outlined earlier. These discussions allowed the RCMP to better understand the work underway or planned, and think critically about what more can be done. Participants from a broad range of business lines took part, including operations, training, human resources, procurement, policy, and so forth. This allowed the RCMP to identify important interdependencies between different recommendations and themes, and how efforts in one area may impact or support the work of another. For example, addressing a recommendation that calls for a change to operational policy requires more than a simple update to the policy. The RCMP must also: communicate the change to employees; provide training on the new policy; and, monitor compliance on an ongoing basis. This enhanced understanding of the recommendations and their applications in the RCMP has assisted with the sequencing of RCMP actions and is helping to ensure our efforts follow a strategic, well-thought-out path. Over 1,600 work hours of effort went into these discussions alone, not considering the countless additional hours of effort undertaken by these experts with their respective teams on advancing the initiatives themselves. These efforts also do not account for the substantive work that has been underway to advance and implement the findings of other reviews of the tragedy, including the recommendations stemming from the RCMP's Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Team review, or Employment and Social Development Canada's ongoing Canada Labour Code investigation.

Making progress

The RCMP has been advancing efforts against many Mass Casualty Commission recommendations – which are named using the report theme (for example, P for Policing) and the recommendation number. In fact, the RCMP has completed its actions on a number of key recommendations, including but not limited to:

P.6 Front-Line Supervisor Training
The RCMP commissioned an external expert review of its initial critical incident response training for front-line supervisors, Initial Critical Incident Response 100 and Initial Critical Incident Response 200, by the September 29, 2023, deadline.
P.59 RCMP Management Culture
The RCMP published a report explaining the criteria on which the RCMP presently selects, develops, recognizes, and rewards its commissioned officers and those in equivalent civilian roles. It also includes an action plan outlining how it will improve these processes.
P.41 Advice of the Management Advisory Board
The RCMP has developed an approach in collaboration with the Management Advisory Board where the board will post its advice on its own website, and the RCMP will post its official response on the RCMP website.
P.18 Issuing Public Warnings
The RCMP has updated its Alert Ready policies, and broader communications policies in use to issue public warnings. This has been demonstrated in action by the significant increase in the RCMP’s use of the Alert Ready system. While the update is complete, the RCMP is continuing to monitor for additional improvements.
P.19 Training Personnel on Issuing Public Warnings
The RCMP has updated its Alert Ready training, and broader training in use to issue public warnings. This update has been twofold – firstly Alert Ready training is now included for incoming personnel at Depot. Secondly, Critical Incident training has been updated to include the use of Alert Ready. The RCMP is continuing to monitor for additional improvements.

Our action plan

As a result of this analysis and extensive collaboration, the RCMP has identified a number of commitments that outline how we plan to respond to each theme's recommendations. Each commitment has a series of action items – initiatives we are taking to meet the commitment, and in turn, respond to the recommendation. Together, this makes up our overall action plan, which you can view in the RCMP commitments and action items section. It is important to note that the RCMP sees its action plan as a living document – some actions may be modified or new ones added over time to better meet the desired results. Others may be delayed as the RCMP seeks additional resources or authorities needed to proceed. However, the RCMP will be transparent with Canadians on its commitments, action items and progress. Through these actions, the RCMP aims to make systemic changes in order to provide policing services with the trust and confidence of the communities it serves.

A phased approach

The Mass Casualty Commission was clear: the RCMP, and other implicated organizations, need to take the time necessary to do this properly. We know our efforts will require a long-term commitment as we implement this strategy, and the necessary changes, over 3 phases:

Phase 1 - May to December 2023 - Complete
Initial groundwork phase with a focus on establishing the Strategic Implementation Team, consultation groups and strategies. This phase will ensure we have a strong foundation on which to build our long-term implementation efforts. Focused efforts to implement recommendations with 6-month time limits imposed by the Mass Casualty Commission.
Phase 2 - January 2024 to April 2025 - Underway
Efforts to implement change begin, as well as establishing work plans to identify the specific actions, resources and capabilities required to implement.
Phase 3 - April 2025 and onward - Long-term
Some longer-term implementation efforts may take many years, as many are rooted in necessary systemic cultural change. Progress will be monitored and reported publicly on a regular basis.

Performance measurement

As our work advances to implement these recommendations, we will continue to monitor, assess and evaluate our progress. This will be done by developing comprehensive work plans for each item in our action plan, and monitoring progress against defined milestones and outcomes in these plans. We also want to ensure our actions are achieving their intended results, and will therefore develop a performance measurement framework to assess and evaluate our progress in relation to our desired outcomes. This will include clear and measurable quantitative and qualitative performance indicators to ensure that we can measure progress, allowing us to measure progress where possible, and pivot efforts when they are not progressing as required.

It is important to note that our work will be continual – even when we address what a recommendation calls for, we will need to continually monitor our progress, adapt to new operational realities, and identify new and innovative ways to increase compliance and effectiveness. For example, while updates have been made to Alert Ready policies, much more can be done to exercise and make it easier to use. We commit to seeing this through. Ongoing monitoring will support the implementation of changes and allow us to continuously reassess our efforts.

Partner engagement

The Mass Casualty Commission calls for significant changes to policing across Canada. This involves working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders at all levels and sectors. Critically, it also requires the full participation, support and involvement of RCMP employees across the country. This support is instrumental to ensuring long-lasting and systemic change.

As Canada's national police service, the RCMP is uniquely positioned to play a leadership role with police services across Canada to help advance operational reforms that impact police services across Canada. That is why the RCMP is working with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police – an association made up of policing executives from across Canada – to examine and share ways to improve policing services in the country, and to bring police leaders together to discuss and inform on ways to advance operational improvements.

Accountability

We will be accountable in our efforts to implement the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations, and will do so through dedicated advisory and monitoring bodies, our own transparency efforts and direct and lasting engagement with the families of the victims of this tragedy.

Advisory and monitoring bodies

The RCMP has been regularly briefing the Management Advisory Board, an independent group that provides impartial advice and guidance to the RCMP Commissioner on key modernization and management matters. The RCMP has sought guidance and feedback on its overall approach to implementation efforts, and the Management Advisory Board has established a dedicated standing committee to be informed, and provide advice on RCMP modernization efforts. The RCMP will continue to share information with the Management Advisory Board and seek advice on its implementation efforts.

The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia established the Progress Monitoring Committee to provide a mechanism to monitor, report on, create mutual accountability, and exchange knowledge and information to respond to the Mass Casualty Commission. The RCMP has committed to full, frank and transparent engagement with the Progress Monitoring Committee, and will continue to provide all requested material within its legislated authorities to demonstrate its implementation progress.

The RCMP has also created the RCMP Divisional Consultative Committee, which is made up of members from each RCMP division. The mandate of this committee is to inform lasting, systemic changes to the RCMP's approach to Mass Casualty Commission implementation. It is part of the broader RCMP effort to understand and bring forward innovative efforts from across the organization to respond to the Mass Casualty Commission. It also aims to foster dialogue and discussion within divisions on Mass Casualty Commission recommendations, and to ensure that actions underway are understood and supported by divisions.

Transparency efforts

We recognize the need to demonstrate progress in a transparent manner to Canadians – this strategy is a core element to the RCMP's overall approach to implementation.

To this end, efforts are underway to develop a progress monitoring hub – a portal that will be updated on a regular basis to outline progress on all of the action items the RCMP is advancing to respond to the Mass Casualty Commission, as well as broader modernization efforts at the RCMP. We will be providing Canadians with more information on this effort soon.

As part of our broader accountability and transparency efforts, the RCMP is also drafting position papers that outline its position, analysis and actions underway in relation to various Mass Casualty Commission recommendations. The RCMP intends on keeping these documents as a long-term record, in order to ensure it can explain why certain actions were taken, and also hold itself to account on long-term efforts to implement reform.

Engaging with families

We recognize that one of our highest priorities is ensuring that family members and victims of the tragedy are informed of our implementation efforts. As such, the RCMP has developed a strategy to keep families informed of progress, with all information shared through a dedicated officer.

Potential risk factors

The RCMP has been making progress – in the days following the tragedy and beyond. We are committed to maintaining this momentum and restoring trust with Canadians. However, we recognize that there are risks that could potentially impact our ability to fully realize our vision. While many of the changes can be made with existing resources, we know that there are initiatives that will require additional investment to succeed from all levels of government. The RCMP is committed to working in a transparent manner so that any additional resource requirements are well-documented and evidence-based.

Many recommendations within the Mass Casualty Commission are also outside of the RCMP's control. Calls to reform police broadly, or to adapt more community-focused approaches to public safety, require leadership and action from a broad range of stakeholders at the municipal, provincial/territorial and federal level. We remain steadfastly committed to working with partners across all levels of government, and with police services across the country, to promote the changes envisioned by the Mass Casualty Commission Final Report, and to meet the expectations of Canadians.

Conclusion

As previously stated, the Mass Casualty Commission is the most sweeping review of the RCMP in decades. It calls for significant changes not only to the RCMP, but to the way Canada as a whole approaches community and public safety. While implementing the recommendations represents a significant challenge for the RCMP, we do not feel it is impossible. We have devoted significant efforts, even before the Final Report was released, to implementing change, and our commitment remains steadfast. We recognize that there are challenges ahead, and that we may not succeed in all our efforts. However, the need for us to get this right – to restore the trust and confidence of Canadians – provides us with the momentum we need to hold the course and realize the change that is needed.

We are committed to meeting a high standard of thoroughness and transparency in our approach. Implementation will not be an overnight process – we need transformational change which will require a sustained effort. The RCMP will continue to evolve in order to be a modern and professional policing organization that is upheld to the highest standards, and has the utmost trust and confidence of the people it serves.

RCMP commitments and action items

As mentioned earlier, our action plan is a living document that is meant to be revised over time. This includes adding more items or revising existing items to better achieve the intended results of our commitments. The below chart outlines our commitments and action items, as of March 2024, to respond to each theme's recommendations.

These commitments and action items were identified through the 16 engagement sessions the RCMP held with internal and external stakeholders in Summer and Fall 2023. Since the RCMP began implementing change even before the release of the Mass Casualty Commission's Final Report, some of these actions are well underway or even completed. This list is not complete, and will continue to grow or be modified through our ongoing efforts to monitor progress and identify new initiatives.

Table 1: Theme 1: Managing crises
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will develop a victim-centric, trauma-informed approach to managing crises across all stages of the response.
  • Explore integration of victim management within the Critical Incident Command Structure
  • Develop a Critical Incident Quick Reference Guide
  • Establish an Organizational Mental Health Coordinator for Post-Incident Response
  • Publish Employee and Family Resource Guide to identify support services available post-crisis
  • Explore the establishment of an RCMP capacity to support victims of mass casualty, mass violence and terrorism events
The RCMP will adopt a clear and consistent command and control model, and an overall approach to managing crises, supported by the first responder community in Canada.
  • Clarify the RCMP Command and Control Model
  • Renew, exercise and regularly update Divisional Emergency Operational Plans
  • Explore expanding the Major Events Coordination Centre
The RCMP will review its critical incident training.
  • Review beginner and intermediate-level critical incident response training courses
  • Update existing critical incident training regime
The RCMP will have consistent policies on escalation of incidents and the provision of national support.
  • Explore options to dedicate resources to complement the RCMP Operations and Coordination Centre
  • Create and maintain inventory of RCMP and partner capabilities and assets to support crisis response
The RCMP will be proactive and effective in its communications during a crisis.
  • Improve use of emergency alerting (Alert Ready) in Nova Scotia and across Canada
  • Create new RCMP policies on the use of Alert Ready
  • Develop the Public Alert Awareness Course for RCMP personnel
  • Update the RCMP's national crisis communications protocols for public communication during critical incidents
The RCMP will ensure that personnel have necessary equipment, tools and capabilities during an incident.
  • Create guidance for a Critical Incident "Go Bag"
  • Analyze existing software to ensure it is sufficient to capture information during a critical incident
  • Conduct a strategic analysis of RCMP Air Services capacity within its divisions
  • Implement software to track individual police officer location in real time
The RCMP will ensure that it learns from critical incidents to improve its approach in the future.
  • Establish a National Independent Officer Review Team
  • Further leverage after-action reviews as learning tools
  • Include lessons learned from critical incidents as part of existing annual public reporting
Table 2: Theme 2: Governance
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will take a holistic approach to implementing recommendations from current and past external reviews.
  • Establish the Strategic Implementation Team
  • Assess and implement recommendations from previous reports (Brown Task Force, Public Order Emergency Commission, Bastarache, and so forth.)
  • Review and implement advice of the Management Advisory Board
Table 3: Theme 3: Gender-based and intimate partner violence
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will improve its policies, training and engagement with its partners regarding gender-based and intimate partner violence.
  • Research the use of Supportive Reporting Centres
  • Review and renew existing trauma-informed policies and training
  • Engage with expert panel on coercive control to advance RCMP responses and policies
Table 4: Theme 4: Firearms
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will support firearms enforcement and preventative initiatives to reduce gun-related offences.
  • Improve functionality of the Canadian Firearms Program's support line
  • Update Canadian Firearms Program website to include more guidance on firearm transfers from estates
  • Examine the feasibility of enhancing the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada's intelligence database to further track firearms smuggling at the border
Table 5: Theme 5: Information sharing
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will improve internal and external information sharing procedures.
  • Conduct audit of the RCMP's document management and production process
  • Update RCMP operational information sharing policy
  • Explore enhancing the collection of data related to police impersonation cases
Table 6: Theme 6: Culture and accountability
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will work to strengthen its accountability and expectations for employee behaviour at all levels.
  • Explore adopting a series of policing principles rooted in accountability and trust
  • Further entrench the RCMP's renewed Core Values
  • Centralize conduct measure process at the RCMP to enhance the conduct regime
The RCMP will promote a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Strengthen the use and application of Gender-based Analysis Plus to ensure diverse groups are not adversely impacted by RCMP policies and programs.
The RCMP will improve the way it selects, develops, recognizes and rewards its leaders.
  • Update elements of the Executive Officer hiring and promotions process to assess candidate ability to be accountable for their actions
  • Additional items related to this commitment are listed in the RCMP Management Culture Report
The RCMP will support employee physical and mental health.
  • Ensure Psychological Health Screening is accessible for all RCMP regular members
Table 7: Theme 7: Training
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will improve education and training for police service delivery across all categories of employees.
  • Provide updated, scenario-based training for dispatchers
  • Improve community orientation for new members in a detachment
  • Implement the findings from the Management Advisory Board's Report on the Cadet Training Program
Table 8: Theme 8: Partnerships and engagement
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will work across its divisions to ensure Mass Casualty Commission-related initiatives are supported and applicable in each RCMP divisional context.
  • Establish the Divisional Consultative Committee to seek divisional input on the RCMP's overall approach to implementing Mass Casualty Commission recommendations
The RCMP will be engaged with its partners and actively share information on implementation.
  • Actively engage policing partners, including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, to share information and identify best practices
  • Participate in the Nova Scotia Policing Reform Review Committee
Table 9: Theme 9: Resourcing and recruitment
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will improve its recruitment processes.
  • Improve RCMP member mobility by working to place them, and keep them, in their preferred or home province or community
  • Communicate modernized aspects of the recruitment process to potential candidates, such as changes to the aptitude test
Table 10: Theme 10: Organizational standards
RCMP commitments Action items
The RCMP will ensure its standards, policies and procedures are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
  • Improve RCMP policy and compliance with uniform disposal
  • Examine publicly publishing all RCMP Policies
  • Conduct audit on notetaking within the RCMP
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