Let me begin by saying that I think our complaints system has to be accessible to all Canadians. It needs to be transparent. It needs to be fair and objective. It also needs to be quick. What we have seen and what I've heard very clearly is that Canadians across the country have raised a number of concerns regarding the timeliness of those complaint reviews.
I've had a little bit of experience in my own jurisdiction, under a different legislative framework, with a complaints process. As a police chief, I can tell you that a well-functioning and accessible complaints review system that the public can trust with regard to its objectivity, its fairness, and its accessibility, and through which individuals who engage in misconduct will be held to account, is of tremendously important assistance to a police chief to maintain public trust in those complaints systems. I also recall that when they were first being introduced across the country, there was some resistance to them amongst police leaders. What we found very quickly was that when those investigations were being conducted independent of police leadership and the public trusted the outcome, they produced much better results.
I'll also tell you that in my experience the overwhelming majority of complaints can be resolved quite informally and quite quickly, but they need to be recorded to ensure the integrity of a complaints review system.
I am in complete agreement with the importance of published and enforceable timelines so that Canadians can have a reasonable expectation of when a matter will be resolved, and I think they should be as open and transparent as possible. The commissioner and I have had a number of conversations about how that can be achieved.
I would also point out that we introduced legislation in the last Parliament, which, unfortunately, passed in the House but didn't get through the Senate. We've reintroduced it in the form of Bill C-3. That's for a complaints review system that builds upon the existing CRCC body and includes the responsibility for providing a complaints mechanism for our border services officers. I'm looking very carefully at that legislation to ensure it does have those appropriate and defined timelines. I think there are a number of things this committee could do.
Let me assure you that I'm very open to your observations and recommendations coming forward from the work of this committee on how we can make the complaints review system work better, not just for all Canadians but for police officers who are the subject of these complaints. Timely resolutions of those complaints are actually in their interests as well so that they can get on with rebuilding their relationship with the people they're supposed to be serving.