The government is pouring $8.1 million to enable the External review Committee of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to carry out civilian reviews of labour and employment grievances more efficiently.
The money to address case backlog will be given over four years.
“Timely review of the matters referred to the ERC is critical to the RCMP
's work environment, as well as the credibility of its human resources processes." said The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Prime Minister and I are committed to ensuring that the RCMP is a healthy workplace and the RCMP External Review Committee is an important part in achieving that goal,” he added.
Delays in responding to grievances negatively impact the individuals involved in the cases, as well as their workplace, their coworkers' faith in the system and the public's perception of the management of the RCMP.
The ERC conducts civilian reviews of appeals of certain labour and employment matters affecting RCMP member. Issues include appeals of decisions on harassment, imposition of financial penalties, dismissal of a member for misconduct, and discharge for poor performance or medical reasons.
The number of cases referred to the ERC each year has more than doubled historical numbers since the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act came into force in 2014.
“We are very aware of the impacts of delays in our review of cases on both RCMP members and on the Force itself,” said Elizabeth Walker, Chair of the RCMP ERC.
The funding will enable the ERC to hire, train and integrate new staff, including additional lawyers to review cases, complementing the internal changes the ERC has already made to streamline its processes that have improved its handling of cases by 31%, year on year.
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