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The Canadian Police Arrangement

What is it?

The Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA) is the framework through which Canadian police are deployed to international police peacekeeping and peace operations (IPP) around the world.

The CPA is a partnership between:

  • the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),
  • the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT),
  • Public Safety Canada, and
  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The three departments, in consultation with the RCMP, decide which IPP operations Canadian police should participate in.

The 2006-2011 CPA

The current Canadian Police Arrangement was established on April 1, 2006. It led to significant changes in the way international police peacekeeping operations are managed. This includes the fact that peace operations became a permanently funded program of the RCMP, designed to support the deployment of up to 200 Canadian police abroad.

In the past, funding to deploy Canadian police came from CIDA on an ad hoc basis. A permanently funded program allows for a more coordinated and proactive approach to international peace operations with little effect on domestic responsibilities.

Deciding when to send Canadian police overseas.

When considering Canadian police participation in missions, the following factors must be examined:

  • Mandate: Does the mission have a clear and achievable mandate?
  • Purpose: Is the mission likely to serve the cause of peace and lead to a political settlement and peace building in the long term?
  • Role: Is the role contemplated for Canadian police appropriate for the skills and philosophy of Canadian policing?
  • Canadian foreign policy interest: What foreign policy and development interest would be served by a Canadian presence taking into account regional or bilateral interests?
  • Official request: Has an official request for civilian police been issued by a multilateral organization? The organization must have a mandate from its member states for regional and national security activities or be in support of other international police operations.
  • Agreement of the parties: Have the principal antagonists agreed to a cease-fire and to Canada’s participation? Is there a commitment to the peace process?
  • Authority: Is one organization the single, commonly acceptable reporting authority with an effective command and control structure? Is the lead organization competent to support the operation?
  • Safety and security: Is the location where Canadian police will be living and working sufficiently safe (including health care, living conditions and legal system) and secure enough for them to accomplish their goals?
  • Logistics and funding: Is the mission adequately and equitably funded? Is there adequate Canadian and international logistical support?
  • Capacity: Is Canada able to meet the needs of the mission with its current resources? Will Canadian participation jeopardize other commitments, including the provision of police services in Canada?
  • Duration and exit strategy: Are the conditions for conclusion of the mission clear and measurable? Are conditions sustainable after the end of the mission?