Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act

An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Sponsor

Vic Toews  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enhances the accountability of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by reforming the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act in two vital areas. First, it strengthens the Royal Canadian Mounted Police review and complaints body and implements a framework to handle investigations of serious incidents involving members. Second, it modernizes discipline, grievance and human resource management processes for members, with a view to preventing, addressing and correcting performance and conduct issues in a timely and fair manner.

It establishes a new complaints commission, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC). Most notably, it sets out the authority for the CRCC to have broad access to information in the control or possession of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it sets out the CRCC’s investigative powers, it permits the CRCC to conduct joint complaint investigations with other police complaints bodies and it authorizes the CRCC to undertake policy reviews of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It establishes a mechanism to improve the transparency and accountability of investigations of serious incidents (death or serious injury) involving members, including referring the investigations to provincial investigative bodies when possible and appointing independent civilian observers to assess the impartiality of the investigations when they are carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or another police service.

It modernizes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s human resources management regime. In particular, it authorizes the Commissioner to act with respect to staffing, performance management, disputes relating to harassment and general human resource management.

It grants the Commissioner the authority to establish a consolidated dispute resolution framework with the flexibility to build redress processes through policies or regulations. It provides for a disciplinary process that will empower managers or other persons acting as conduct authorities to impose a wide range of conduct measures in response to misconduct and that requires conduct hearings only in cases when dismissal is being sought.

It also contains a mechanism to deem certain members as being persons appointed under the Public Service Employment Act at a time to be determined by the Treasury Board.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

  • March 6, 2013 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
  • March 6, 2013 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the Bill; and that,15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
  • Dec. 12, 2012 Passed That Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, as amended, be concurred in at report stage.
  • Dec. 12, 2012 Failed That Bill C-42 be amended by deleting Clause 1.
  • Sept. 19, 2012 Passed That this question be now put.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That, in relation to C-42, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the bill; and

that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders on the day allotted to the consideration at the third reading stage of said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have yet another gag order in the form of a time allocation motion, a tactic that the Conservatives are unfortunately using far too often.

This is a record 29th time that this government has moved a time allocation motion. This record may belong in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it does nothing to improve the image of the House.

When the government imposes time allocation on all members of the House, it is essentially gagging all Canadians, and we cannot repeat that enough.

This government needs to take responsibility and do what people expect it to do. We should be able to have in-depth discussions of bills in the House. It is completely unconscionable and unacceptable that we are faced with yet another time allocation motion.

My question is simple: what is the government trying to hide and what reason does it have for cutting off debate on this bill?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the debate.

I want to point out that today is the 15th day that Bill C-42 is being debated. That is 15 days. The member is concerned that something is being hidden. If something is being hidden, I do not know what it is. We have certainly been very clear in our position as to what the people of Canada should know and the steps we are taking in respect of the RCMP.

What is the response of the NDP members? Their amendments include deleting the short title of the act, which is enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police accountability act.

Why do we spend time debating that kind of title? What is it about enhancing accountability that the opposition does not want the RCMP to follow?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we recognize the fact that the government has a record in terms of putting time allocation on numerous bills. The Liberal Party has been fairly clear in stating its support for the principle of the bill that is in question today, and we would ultimately like to see it pass. We have not been putting up speakers to try to delay, or anything of that nature, but we do question the level of frequency by which the government uses time allocation. We have seen it on numerous bills, whether it is Bill C-27, the first nations accountability bill, Air Canada, Canada Post, CP, the Panama free trade agreement, budget bills, back to work legislation with regard to Air Canada, the Financial System Review Act, the gun registry, the copyright bill, the pooled pension plan bill, one of my favourites, and the Canadian Wheat Board. All of these are bills, and more, on which the government has decided to invoke time allocation.

My question is more for the government House leader. Why does the government choose to introduce time allocation on many bills, which therefore takes away the responsibility of opposition members and all backbenchers, I would suggest, to provide due diligence in ensuring that every bill is given due process and is well debated and ultimately passed or defeated in the House of Commons? Why does the government go to this tool time after time?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member for Winnipeg North is up on his feet quite a bit. I often turn on the television in my office and there is the member for Winnipeg North. I remember the member for Winnipeg North when we served together in the provincial legislature. He is a fine member. He gives his constituents good representation. I think they are pleased to see him here rather than the former party that used to occupy that seat. His constituents have taken one step up in terms of representation.

The member's position is that there has been enough debate. However, that is not the issue. The issue is that closure has been brought in. If there has been enough debate, then why is it not time to close it down and get on with a vote?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4 p.m.
See context

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if that exchange between my two friends across the way was the minister trying to help out my friend in the next election campaign or trying to severely curtail his chances of winning. I do not know if that goes on a brochure or not.

My point is this. The irony of the government using a closure motion, a motion to shut down debate on a bill called the RCMP accountability act, seems to be lost on it. The fact that the RCMP is in need of reform is well understood in this country. I have debated the minister often on this, and he has stonewalled efforts for years. Now, when the government has brought a bill forward, insufficient and incomplete, according to members themselves, the minister says we have talked enough about this; it is good enough, like it or lump it, this is how it is going to be.

We do not often get the chance to reform the RCMP. It does not happen every year. It does not happen every 10 years. One would think that getting the bill right would be important to the government, but it is not. What is important to the government is its continuing treatment of this place with disdain, and its fundamental disrespect of the voters we represent in saying that whatever the government's agenda is, so be it. It is the Conservative way or the highway. That is not good enough for Canadians. That level of arrogance, of uncertainty, in terms of dealing with our democratic institution, is something that will be lost.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I was not born with the intelligence of the member across the way, but in my own humble way, I try to do my best and move things along.

NDP members have brought forward an amendment to get rid of the short title of the bill, which is the enhancing RCMP accountability act. Once we get down to a discussion to not include any reference to enhancing accountability, then where can the debate go from there? We are saying we need to enhance accountability. They are saying not to enhance accountability. After 15 days, the debate has ground to a halt. This is the only logical thing the government can do because there is no desire on the part of the opposition to enhance accountability. The opposition is against the concept of accountability. Those members have said so by wanting to remove the short title.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in listening to the last comments, my friend from Winnipeg North talked about the record of the government in bringing in time allocation. I would suggest it is a record in terms of the opposition delaying any bit of legislation as much as they possibly could. We have been dealing with this issue in committee as well. We have had 15 days in the House and time in committee.

The opposition House leader talked about accountability. At some point, the House has to be accountable to eventually come to a decision on something, and not drag it out forever. We have 13 police officers in our caucus who have all worked hard on this piece of legislation. The NDP said it can no longer support it, one of the reasons being that it will give the commissioner of the RCMP the ability to root out bad apples. The opposition states it wants accountability and yet it would not support measures that would give the commissioner the ability to hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Can the minister comment on this apparent dichotomy?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased the member has raised these types of substantive issues. Canadians who have been following the debate understand the nature of the bill and what the government is trying to accomplish with the RCMP.

I am very proud of the RCMP, the commissioner, and the work the commissioner is doing with the RCMP. However, the commissioner cannot do it all by himself. He needs the support of the House. The attorneys general across Canada have told us they want reforms. We brought forward this bill for accountability, and I am pleased the Liberals are supporting it in principle. It is a very progressive bill in respect of dealing with issues of accountability.

At this point, all I can say is that I want to help the RCMP and the commissioner, and I am calling on the House to do exactly that by passing this bill.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the 29th time debate in the House has been interrupted and our members' right to speak has been taken away. Democracy is under attack.

The Conservative Party is mastering the art of downplaying the issues we are working on. The minister uses rhetoric about a title, as if our work was about titles, when we work on content.

We have the right to be heard as members. We have the right to go into detail, and we have the right to use all our time. Not all the members of the House have been heard on Bill C-42.

The minister said that this was a waste of time. I am quoting him word for word, if the translation is correct, obviously. He said that it is a waste of time to listen to members.

It is shameful to hear that.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the translation was correct, but what I was indicating was that the member said she wants to talk about substantive issues and content, and yet time and time again the NDP brings forward frivolous amendments. The one primary frivolous amendment it is bringing forward is wanting the people of Canada to listen to a debate, not about accountability or how to make a more effective national police force in Canada, but whether we should have a short title for the act that is called enhancing RCMP accountability act. Once we are into that kind of discussion, whatever substantive arguments there might be have all been exhausted.

We are talking about getting down to the issue. Let us vote. The substantive issues have clearly been discussed given the nature of the amendments that the NDP brought forward.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could enlighten the hon. minister. Perhaps he has been off the opposition benches for so long that he has forgotten the very cogent and sensible reason why members of the opposition parties, who have been part of committee processes by the rules of this place, could only put forward deletions at third reading, and in order to get priority for speaking opportunities in third reading debate choose such things as a deletion of the short title in order to get a speaking spot. I can assure anyone watching these proceedings that the official opposition will not waste its time saying why it wants to delete a short title. It will use that speaking opportunity to put forward concerns that are real and legitimate about this legislation.

I happen to know the rules quite well because I have the somewhat unique perspective of being able to bring forth both deletions and substantive amendments at report stage. In this case, it is a disservice to those who might be looking at this debate, or reading Hansard later, to think the official opposition is obsessed about the short title. It is simply looking for a chance for democratic debate.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what that party's or that member's position is. She is not a member of the official opposition.

The official opposition is the New Democrat Party. I see from what they have brought forward that all of those issues have been fully considered and that we are beginning to spin our tires by bringing forward amendments that would delete the short title of the act.

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has made his point quite clearly.

As members of the Canadian public reflect back on Hansard, they will see clearly that members of opposition have taken an opportunity to engage in this debate. One after another, they are not talking about the substance of this bill. They are talking about process, not content.

The only questions that have involved the content of this bill at all have come from members on this side. On that note, I would like to ask the minister what he has heard. I can share the experience of the Yukon's “Sharing Common Ground” report, and the review of Yukon's police force asks for some very specific things, which are reflected directly in this bill in terms of accountability and in terms of improving the RCMP.

I was wondering if the minister would take an opportunity to comment on what he has heard across all provinces, particularly the Yukon experience, and how this bill is going to help that territory with its relationship with the RCMP?

Bill C-42—Time Allocation Motion
Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Government Orders

March 6th, 2013 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank that member for his question. I also want to thank that member for the work he has done on this file and, prior to that, for his work as a correctional officer and even a member of the RCMP.

In fact, he was a member of both the correctional and enforcement areas of the law and certainly brings a lot to bear. The people of the Yukon are well served by an individual who puts his territory, his jurisdiction, right to the forefront of the discussion and ensures that people here in Ottawa hear what the people of Yukon are saying.

I have had the occasion to travel to the Yukon. At least once a year, I try to get there to hear what the people of the Yukon are saying. Generally speaking, I find good broad-based support for this legislation, not only from government officials but from people generally who want to see accountability in the RCMP. They want the RCMP to be everything it can be. This bill would do exactly that.