Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Addressing the recommendations

Content warning

The information on and linked from this webpage references the mass casualty that occurred in Nova Scotia in April 2020. This information may be disturbing or upsetting to some audiences.

Note

On March 27, 2024, the RCMP provided further updates in the areas of:

  • critical incident management
  • advice of the Management Advisory Board
  • improving RCMP policies
  • improving recruitment
  • responding to gender-based and intimate partner violence
  • focusing on the wellness of our personnel and of victims

You can find previous updates in the September 2023 updates section.

On this page

  1. March 2024 updates
  2. September 2023 updates
  3. Next steps

As Canada's national police service, our responsibility, and our commitment is to the victims and their families. We are learning from our response to the mass casualty incident and moving forward with implementing the Mass Casualty Commission's recommendations.

We began efforts to improve almost immediately after the incident, as well as throughout the Commission's proceedings. The most significant improvements made to date have been in the use of Alert Ready across Canada, as well as in emergency response team resourcing and radio communications in Nova Scotia.

Over the past two decades, the RCMP has been subject to a number of external reviews that have touched on all aspects of the organization – from culture, to governance, to operations. Our response to these reviews has not always been fulsome, and we haven't always been transparent about our progress to implement their findings and recommendations.

Given the scope and impact of the Mass Casualty Commission report, and the need to support transformational changes across the RCMP that go beyond the report, we created a new sector – Reform, Accountability and Culture – in May 2023. Amongst other issues such as the future of contract policing and Federal Policing transformation, this new sector will lead the RCMP's efforts to implement the recommendations. Dedicated employees within this sector have been hard at work assessing the recommendations with subject matter experts from across the country. Our goal is to ensure that we understand all of the various elements that must be addressed to realize the spirit and intent of the recommendations.

Given the report calls for sweeping reforms to how Canada approaches public safety at large, the RCMP is also working collaboratively with our federal, provincial and territorial, and Indigenous partners.

March 2024 updates

We are pleased to provide this update as we continue to advance on the recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission. There is still more work to be done, and we are committed to being transparent and accountable to the public through regular updates on our progress.

Critical incident management – improving our response to managing crises

Importance

The Mass Casualty Commission, as well as the Public Order Emergency Commission, clearly stated that we must renew our approach to managing crises. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • mass casualty incidents
  • illegal occupations
  • natural disasters

That's why we have launched an expansive effort to refresh our approach to managing crises. This marks the first time we have examined the entire cycle of crisis management from this holistic perspective, including:

  • pre-incident preparedness and planning
  • management of the incident itself
  • victim-centric, post-incident response

As part of this approach, we're working to make sure that all RCMP employees and first responders who have a responsibility during a critical incident understand their role, and how they contribute to the broader response.

Actions

  • Increased use of emergency alerts (across Canada, including Nova Scotia) in situations where an emerging or active incident may put the public in direct harm following the creation of new policies and training. These alerts inform the public of a direct or emerging threat, as well as provide necessary directions on how to stay safe. Alert Ready is also now part of the learning curriculum for all cadets at the RCMP's training academy. Its use is now more clearly outlined in our operational policies.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations C.4, C.5, P.1, P.17, P.18, P.22, P.19, and P.20
  • Developed a comprehensive checklist and quick reference guide to help front-line personnel better plan and respond to a crisis. These new tools will also help ensure we are taking a trauma-informed approach to supporting affected members of the public, as well as our own personnel.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations C.8, C.9, C.12, and P.1
  • Rolled out software across the RCMP that will allow us to track the exact locations and movements of all our officers in the field in real-time. All police officers in Nova Scotia are using this software and all RCMP divisions the country have access to it. Knowing where our officers are will help us coordinate responses to incidents more effectively and help us identify anyone who may be pretending to be an RCMP officer.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations P.1, P.2, P.4, P.5, P.6, P.8, P.9, P.15, P.16, P.17, P.18, and P.20

In addition, we are currently:

  • developing a searchable inventory of all employees' specialized skills and capabilities that can be centrally supported from national headquarters. This can help us quickly and efficiently identify and deploy employees with specialized skills during a crisis. This inventory will help RCMP divisions better access specialized capabilities during a crisis such as air support, operational intelligence analysis, geospatial mapping and more.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations C.2, C.7, C.8, P.1, P.2, P.4, P.5, P.6, P.8, P.9, P.11, P.15, P.16, P.17, P1.8, P.23, and P.24
  • reviewing our command-and-control model used during critical incidents to integrate more seamlessly with other police and emergency services during these situations. This work will be done in consultation with police services from across the country. Having a standardized model will also help us with our response to critical incident or other emergency situations.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations P1., P.2, P.4, P.5, P.6, P.8, P.9, P.15, P.16, P.17, P.18, and P.20

Advice of the Management Advisory Board

Importance

In November 2023, the Management Advisory Board began publishing its advice and recommendations to its website. Unless there are immediate concerns from an operational perspective, or the information is subject to mandatory exemptions under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act, the Board will continue to make its advice public.

Actions

We agree with this approach and have started posting our official responses to the Board's advice on our website for transparency.

Improving our policies

Importance

We are working on updating many of our policies to reduce access to our uniforms, equipment and decommissioned vehicles to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands. This will severely limit a person's ability to pose as an RCMP officer.

Actions

  • Strengthened our policies for how we manage and dispose our police uniforms and equipment. We have reviewed and updated our procedures for the uniform disposal process and continue to monitor compliance to better track and prevent possible misuse. We have also improved our process for disposing equipment and uniform items when an officer leaves or retires. These efforts are further strengthened in Nova Scotia, where legislation enacted in May 2023 now prohibits the use, possession, sale or reproduction of police-issued items by the public.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendation C.28
  • Reviewed our police vehicle decommissioning process, both by internal and external experts. This is to ensure that we can safely decommission and sell our police vehicles in the event the current moratorium on the sale of them is lifted, and will better allow us to publicly report these sales. These policies will reduce the ability for people to purchase or build replica police vehicles, regardless of intent.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendation C.30

Improving recruitment

Importance

We have strengthened our efforts to enhance recruitment to meet our current and evolving needs, and to better reflect the diverse communities we serve. In recent years, we have made significant strides to make the recruitment process easier, faster, and more accessible to a broader range of candidates.

Our recruitment program has prioritized initiatives promoting diversity and inclusivity. We are implementing programs aimed at attracting individuals from underrepresented groups, such as racialized communities, women and Indigenous peoples, to create a workforce that mirrors the demographics of Canadian society. These inclusive recruitment practices not only enrich our organizational culture but also enhance our ability to effectively serve diverse communities across the country.

Actions

  • Modified our approach to how we deploy new RCMP officers across the country. Under this new approach, we're working to place new graduates from our training academy in their preferred province for their first posting. We're also working to help them continue their careers in their home province or community, including in rural and remote postings. Allowing our officers to stay in their home community will help with recruitment efforts, and will lead to better quality policing services with improved knowledge of specific community needs and geography namely in rural areas, and enhanced relationship building.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations P.55, P.69
  • A major market-based research project to inform an evidence-based approach for recruiting new officers. This market research data will allow us to attract a greater number of police applicants within our ranks to fill ongoing vacancies. It will also enable us to better attract and select candidates that possess the right skillsets and characteristics required to become an RCMP officer.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendation P.69
  • The launch of our Diverse and Inclusive Pre-Cadet Experience program in October 2023. This program is aimed at attracting racialized and underrepresented persons wishing to join the RCMP. It also reflects our efforts to foster a culturally diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendation P.69

Responding to gender-based and intimate partner violence

Importance

We have begun work on specific initiatives aimed at supporting survivors and preventing future incidents of gender-based and intimate partner violence. These focused efforts reflect our unwavering commitment to fostering safer communities and upholding the rights and dignity of all individuals.

Actions

  • Updates to our policies to better reflect Clare's Law, which will be applied in provinces where the law has been enacted. This allows individuals to seek, and police to release, information about their intimate partners' past abusive behaviour. In addition, we are making updates to our policies to ensure we apply a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to our intimate partner violence investigations. We're also adding the need to consider other elements, such as coercive control.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations V.6, V.9, V.15, and P.75

Ongoing efforts include:

  • working with experts to examine the use of supportive reporting centres within the communities we serve, so that those faced with gender-based and intimate partner violence can safely report instances of abuse in a victim-focused centre. Access to such resources can be especially important to those in rural and remote communities, where support services may not be readily available. In these situations, the RCMP could play a crucial role in providing victim support.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations V.6, V.9, V.15, and P.75

Focusing on wellness of our personnel and of victims

Importance

Recognizing the importance of mental health support, particularly in the aftermath of crises, we have taken proactive steps to ensure that our employees and their families have access to comprehensive resources and guidance.

Actions

  • The creation of a resource guide for our employees and their families. This offers more guidance and direction on how to access the various mental health supports available after a crisis. This extensive document provides all employees and their families with valuable information on how to access these vital services.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations 8, C.9, C.11, C.12, and P.1
  • The expansion of psychological health screenings, which we've offered to officers in almost every RCMP division since 2021. We've since been expanded this to include officers working in the National Capital Region. This is an important step in support of the physical and mental health of our employees. We are committed to addressing the psychological impacts associated with police work, regardless of geographic location or rank.
    • Supports the implementation of Mass Casualty Commission recommendations C.8, C.9, C.11, C.12, and P.1

Additional updates

Recommendation P.59: RCMP Management Culture
The RCMP has prepared an update to its action plan from September 2023 and has shared it with the Management Advisory Board as well as with the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs. Read the Progress update: Response to the Mass Casualty Commission recommendation P.59.
Recommendation C.28: Management and Disposal of Police Uniform and Associated Kit
The recommendation called for the RCMP, and other police services, to carry out quality assurance reviews of their inventory and disposal systems within one year of the publication of the Mass Casualty Commission report, and every three years thereafter. The RCMP's initial review was completed by its Audit and Advisory Services in 2023 (Review of Uniform and Dress Manual Policy Changes), and subsequent re-assessments will be considered as part of the organization's risk-based audit planning process.

September 2023 updates

The RCMP is pleased to report that it has met the timelines of two recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission Final Report that called on the RCMP to advance efforts within six-months of its release.

Recommendation P.6: Front-Line Supervisor Training

The RCMP should commission an external expert review of its initial critical incident response training for front-line supervisors (Initial Critical Incident Response (ICIR) 100 and Initial Critical Incident Response (ICIR) 200), to be completed within six months of the publication of this Final Report. This evaluation should be published on the RCMP's website.

Update

The external review was completed and delivered to the RCMP on September 27, 2023. The RCMP is currently reviewing the this report, and preparing a workplan to implement its recommendations.

The RCMP is also assessing this recommendation within the context of others that relate to how the RCMP manages crises, including efforts to review:

  • The RCMP's current model of complex/major incident response and evaluating other models that could enhance how the RCMP responds to these events; and,
  • Initial Critical Incident Response 100 and 200 level course content to assess feasibility of creating additional Initial Critical Incident Response levels to capture expanded material not presently covered.

Taken together, this work will help to further improve the RCMP's overall approach to managing crises.

Recommendation P.59: RCMP Management Culture

Within six months of the publication of this Report, the RCMP Commissioner provide to the responsible minister and the Management Advisory Board, and publish on the RCMP website, a document that explains the criteria on which the RCMP presently selects, develops, recognizes, and rewards its commissioned officers and those in equivalent civilian roles.

Update

The report is complete and available on our website. It provides an overview of efforts that were put in place to respond to recommendations from previous reviews in order to foster a healthy management culture at the RCMP, as a well as a strategic approach to drive additional changes. The RCMP proactively consulted the Management Advisory Board early September 2023 to incorporate its feedback. A copy has also been provided to the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Next steps

The RCMP is committed to being transparent with Canadians and all those impacted. We will be publishing a progress hub in the coming months, which will include progress updates on the recommendations. We will be updating this website regularly moving forward.

Collaboration with our partners, including federal and provincial governments and policing partners, is essential to effectively address all recommendations.

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