Over the past few days there have been a number of media reports of serious allegations of harassment in the RCMP and significant criticism of how the Force deals with harassment complaints.
Although a number of incidents and cases referred to arose many years ago, they raise legitimate concerns about the RCMP’s current work environment, policies and practices relating to harassment. I want to emphasize that the RCMP’s Senior Management Team is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment free from harassment, discrimination and workplace conflict, an environment where all employees are treated with respect.
That is why values and ethics have been a key component of our transformation efforts over the past four years. A number of concrete steps have been taken to support a healthy work environment and to encourage, support and demand ethical behavior and values based decision making in the RCMP.
Our Harassment Policy is based on Treasury Board’s policy and is in line with those of other federal departments and agencies. I urge anyone who feels they have been harassed or witnessed harassment in the workplace to make use of the policy in order for these very important matters to be addressed.
There are number of avenues open to you. Speak with your supervisor or a more senior person. You can also talk to the RCMP’s Ethics Office or deal directly with the Professional Integrity Officer in National Headquarters. You can also talk with your Staff Relations Representative, your Public Service Union or MEAP Advisor. In addition, you can contact the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada.
It is vitally important that we all work to achieve our Visions to Change for the RCMP to be an adaptive, accountable, trusted organization of fully engaged employees demonstrating outstanding leadership and providing world-class police services. An essential element is trust, public trust and trust in each other. We all need to contribute to this vision and to the RCMP’s ability to hold people accountable. Your active engagement is essential. If for some reason you do not get the support you require and deserve at first instance, I strongly encourage you to pursue your concerns.
Please refer to the following websites for more detailed information about how to deal with harassment in the workplace: Workplace Relations and Office of Professional Integrity.
We are committed to ensuring a healthy, respectful, harassment-free work environment. I ask for your help in this important endeavor.
William J.S. Elliott