Thank you Minister, thank you Parliamentary Secretary for the confidence the Government has in me.
I am very excited and eager to lead this great institution.
I am proud of the men and women of the RCMP; proud of the work they do every day for Canadians; and I am privileged to become their Commissioner.
The work we do is important, but HOW we do this work is equally important and can profoundly impact the lives of Canadians. I get that.
I recognize that I have a lot of work ahead of me as we continue to transform the RCMP.
Accountability and leadership will be areas of focus for me and my team as we go forward.
First on my plate will be addressing the issue of harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace.
I, like the rest of my colleagues in the RCMP, indeed like all Canadians, am very concerned by these recent allegations.
These allegations do not represent the Force I joined, and this situation cannot continue. I will resolve this situation and restore the trust and faith Canadians have in the RCMP and just as importantly, ensure that RCMP employees can thrive in a healthy, productive and harassment free environment.
Moments ago, you heard the Minister of Public Safety say that he has invited the Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP to investigate systemic concerns about sexual harassment in the Force.
I have discussed this matter with the Minister, and we agree that while the Force has means for investigating individual complaints, something more is needed in this situation.
I support the Commission’s examination of the Force in this area. I support it because these are our members, our employees we’re talking about -- both alleged victims and alleged perpetrators. I want a full, fair and thorough look at how we handle allegations of sexual harassment so we can get to the bottom of the problem, fix it and move on with the critical work of keeping Canadians safe.
The Commission will have the full cooperation of each and every member and employee of the RCMP at all levels. In the meantime, I have asked for a comprehensive review of any outstanding complaints to satisfy myself that allegations are being addressed, complainants are being supported, and offenders are being dealt with.
Further, I have asked that the management of the process for responding to all harassment allegations across the force be centralized in Ottawa and resourced appropriately.
The RCMP is a remarkable organization built with remarkably dedicated, talented and committed individuals.
I call on all employees of the RCMP, but in particular, those who occupy a supervisory, managerial and executive role, to step up and be the leaders I need you to be to help me make our core values live in the work we do every moment of every day on behalf of all Canadians.
Lastly, and on behalf of all employees of the RCMP, I’d like to thank outgoing Commissioner William Elliott for his service. The RCMP has succeeded in bringing about positive change in a number of areas. I will continue to implement our transformation agenda, and I believe we owe Commissioner Elliott a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts.