Increasing RCMP accountability

Just before the House of Commons rose for the summer recess, the government tabled Bill C-42, the proposed Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act
Constituents will be pleased to know that the legislation will create a new Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) for the RCMP to replace the existing Commission for Public Complaints (CPC) against the RCMP. It will increase the transparency of investigations into serious incidents involving a member of the RCMP, reduce the potential for bias and promote public accountability of these criminal investigations.
The CPC was established as an independent body to hold the RCMP accountable to the public by enabling public complaints about the on-duty conduct of RCMP members to be examined fairly and impartially.  It is mandated to receive complaints from the public about the conduct of RCMP members; conduct reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP's handling of their complaints; hold hearings or carry out investigations on complaints; and, report findings and make recommendations to the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Minister of Public Safety, with a view to correct and prevent recurring policing problems. 
The CRCC will have the same powers of the former commission along with new powers and authorities to carry out its mandate, including:
  • Broad access to RCMP information to help it perform its duties (it will be required to safeguard against unauthorized disclosure of privileged information);
  • Enhanced investigative powers, including the authority to summon and compel witnesses to give evidence;
  • The ability to conduct joint investigations and share information with other police review bodies;
  • The ability to conduct policy reviews to determine the RCMP’s compliance with legislation and regulations, as well as policies, procedures, guidelines and Ministerial Directives;
  • The authority to appoint civilian observers to assess the impartiality of criminal investigations of serious incidents involving the RCMP or, with approval of the relevant provincial authority, when the investigation is being done by the RCMP or another police service.
The Commission will consist of one chairperson and up to four additional full- or part-time members. Members will be appointed by the Governor in Council for up to five years with the possibility for reappointment and extension. Members or former members of the RCMP will not be eligible to be appointed as members of the Commission.
The enhanced powers and authorities of the CRCC will be similar to those of other modern international, federal and provincial review bodies. 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police remains an important symbol for Canada.  But, as we know here in Kelowna-Lake Country, Canadians’ confidence in the RCMP has been tested over the past few years and citizens have rightfully demanded that the RCMP be held fully accountable for its actions.
Our local RCMP detachments serve us well in the Okanagan and it is important to acknowledge that the vast majority of RCMP employees perform an exemplary service to Canadians and deserve our support and respect.
However, it is equally important that the RCMP has acknowledged the need for increased accountability so that those few members who fall short of the expectations of the RCMP can be dealt with in an expedient and appropriate manner.
Through Bill C-42, the government has listened to Canadians and taken action to ensure that the RCMP remains accountable to the public it serves.
Call for Proposals – Social Development Partnerships Program- Disability Component
The call for proposals for Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D) launched on June 22, 2012. The call is open to all of Canada and will close on August 17, 2012.
Canadian not-for-profit organizations can receive up to $250,000 per year for up to three years for projects that support the Government of Canada’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Projects must focus on one or more of the following priorities: active living, accessibility, vulnerable populations and increasing awareness of disability-related issues.
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country.  He can be reached at [email protected]  or 250 470-5075.

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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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