Report on Allegations of Harassment and Sexual Misconduct at the RCMP's Canadian Police College Explosives Training Unit
- RCMP releases review into sexual misconduct allegations at the Canadian Police College
- Statement by Independent Observer Mr. Paul Kennedy
- CPC Process Review: Recommendations and Responses
- CPC Process Review: Mandate letter
- CPC Process Review: Terms of Reference for the Independent Observer
- Conduct process overview
July 14, 2016
On February 09, 2016, a former employee of the Explosives Training Unit (ETU) at the Canadian Police College (CPC) wrote to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner regarding concerns over the behaviour of two employees at the ETU. The member alleged that Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt.) Bruno Solesme and Civilian Member (CM) Marco Calandrini had repeatedly engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment over a period of a year and a half, between approximately June 01, 2012 and December 31, 2013. This individual expressed frustration that despite the misconduct, S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were ultimately returned to work in the explosives field, with minimal repercussions.
Prior to these new allegations being brought to the attention of the RCMP Commissioner, two internal investigations had been carried out to examine allegations of sexual misconduct against S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini: one against each individual in early 2014, conducted under the former disciplinary regime (RCMP Act, 1988); and one against only CM Calandrini in December 2014, under the disciplinary regime currently used by the RCMP (Enhancing the RCMP Accountability Act, 2014). Further parallel investigations into both individuals were launched in 2016 as a result of new allegations; the 2016 investigations are ongoing.
The intent of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of the incidents in question and the investigations that followed; to communicate lessons learned from these processes; and to document recommendations to improve the way that the RCMP handles instances of harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace, including support for victims, a focus on positive reintegration and improvement of overall workplace wellness for all employees.
The incidents described in this report are complicated, with many events happening simultaneously, and within the context of both a leadership change at the CPC and the launch of new processes by which the RCMP addresses misconduct. This report strives to be transparent, while protecting the privacy of the victims and witnesses to these events.
Launch of the Review
The RCMP Commissioner took immediate action upon learning of the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment at the ETU. S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were immediately ordered transferred from the worksite and an RCMP representative contacted the author of the letter to the RCMP Commissioner to assess and address the needs of that individual. Given the severity of the allegations, the RCMP Commissioner also immediately ordered the launch of a process review to investigate the handling of the initial conduct investigations and subsequent decisions concerning allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment previously levied against S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini.
The RCMP Commissioner's direction had three main components. First, a multi-disciplinary process review team (PRT) was formed, which included RCMP employees with a wide range of expertise, including conduct and harassment, and was led by the Assistant Chief Human Resources Officer. Next, a special Steering Committee made up of three members of the RCMP Senior Executive was established to oversee the work of the PRT (mandate attached). Finally, new Code of Conduct investigations were initiated, led by the Commanding Officer (CO) of National Division, with the purpose of exposing and addressing new allegations that arose from the letter to the Commissioner, as well as any remaining undisclosed misconduct.
The Commissioner also invited Mr. Paul Kennedy, former Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, to act as an independent, external observer of the Code of Conduct investigations, as well as the PRT and Steering Committee, to support the RCMP's commitment to ensuring a thorough, impartial and professional review. The terms of reference established for the Process Review gave Mr. Kennedy full access to all information associated with the events in question (mandate attached).
An extensive review was conducted of the handling of the conduct investigations and subsequent decisions related to the actions of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini at the CPC. This review included an exhaustive documentary review of administrative files, notes, correspondence, policy, procedures, legislation and previous related investigations and interviews with numerous witnesses, victims and those responsible for investigations. Following the review, the PRT and Steering Committee presented their final findings and recommendations to the RCMP Senior Executive Committee on July 11, 2016. This report outlines these findings and subsequent recommendations, which the RCMP has committed to fully implementing.
a) RCMP Organizational Change
Since assuming leadership of the RCMP, the Commissioner has prioritized transforming RCMP culture, and has focussed on addressing harassment in the workplace and promoting overall workplace wellness. In recent years, the RCMP has taken several concrete actions in this regard. In 2012, the RCMP underwent a Gender-Based Assessment to determine whether recruitment and promotion policies and practices were gender neutral, and whether they provided equal opportunities for female members of the RCMP. The RCMP has also worked to address gaps in its grievance and discipline processes, including how harassment and conduct complaints are handled. In 2013, the RCMP developed the Gender and Respect Action Plan, and implemented measures with the goal of making the RCMP a more respectful and inclusive workplace. Other measures recently launched include peer-to-peer support programs, a mental health strategy and action plan, respectful workplace training, an informal conflict management program, a violence prevention policy, a workplace reporting system, a national early intervention system and a centralized office for the coordination of harassment complaints.
As part of these transformative actions, existing conduct processes were assessed and found to be overly legalistic, formalistic and adversarial, and plagued with delays. To overcome these issues, steps were taken to improve processes for investigating and addressing instances of misconduct. As such, while the initial investigations into sexual misconduct at the ETU were conducted under the RCMP Act, 1998 disciplinary regime, and guided by the previous Code of Conduct of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, subsequent internal investigations would be conducted under a new process.
A new Code of Conduct and conduct review process came into force on November 28, 2014, with the passing of the Enhancing RCMP Accountability Act, 2014. This new process allows for misconduct to be addressed in a more responsive, timely and effective manner, by empowering lower level management and thus ensuring misconduct is dealt with at the lowest appropriate level. It is a progressive discipline system that emphasizes remedial, corrective and educative solutions, rather than punitive sanctions. As a result of these legislative changes, meetings between a manager and subject member concerning conduct became the norm, with discipline being set out in private. Only cases where dismissal is being sought are referred to a Conduct Board and resulting hearings made open to the public. This model is not unique to the RCMP, and is comparable to the model that exists for Government of Canada public service employees. More information on the RCMP's transformation initiatives can be found at http://www.rcmp.gc.ca/en/member-conduct and http://www.rcmp.gc.ca/en/conduct-process-overview. RCMP legislation applies both to regular members and CMs; as such, investigations into alleged misconduct by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini followed the same procedures.
In total, three sets of investigations were launched to examine the behaviours of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini: one against each of the individuals in question in early 2014, conducted simultaneously under the old conduct regime; one against CM Calandrini launched in December 2014; and one launched in 2016 against each individual. Investigations launched after November 2014 have been subject to the new disciplinary regime, including the most recent investigations that are being led by the CO of National Division, which are ongoing.
b) Mandate of the CPC
The CPC provides advanced and specialized training and executive development to law enforcement officers from across Canada, as well as to international partners. During the timeframe described in this review, there were two different Directors General in charge of day-to-day operations of the CPC: the first was in command until October 31, 2013, when the majority of this misconduct occurred; the second took command on February 04, 2014, approximately two months prior to the disclosure of the allegations and the launch of the investigations into the sexual misconduct that was reported by one of the victims. Bridging the two permanent Directors General was a short-term acting Director General.
At the time of the alleged misconduct, the ETU was a small, specialized unit that offered explosives training to police services at the municipal, provincial and national level. The ETU was comprised of highly trained police and civilian employees, and offered the Police Explosive Technician program to all Canadian police services. Due to the layout of the CPC, the ETU was physically isolated from the other units located on the campus.
c) Discipline and Human Resources Responsibilities in the National Capital Region
The individual ultimately responsible for the conduct of employees and other workplace matters at the CPC and other RCMP work sites in the National Capital Region (NCR) is the CO of National Headquarters (NHQ). Typically, the CO is the highest ranking RCMP member in a given Division, and has full responsibility for that Division, including oversight of all operational and administrative activities. Having responsibility in such a wide range of contexts affords the CO with the knowledge and appreciation for the dynamics present under the CO's command.
However, the majority of Senior Executives of the RCMP are part of NHQ, and, as such, the CO of NHQ is not the highest ranking RCMP member at NHQ. Furthermore, while the CO of NHQ is ultimately responsible for the conduct of CPC employees, the Director General of the CPC is responsible for the CPC's operational activities, and was at the same rank as the CO of NHQ at the time the first allegations were made. The unique and complex environment in which the CO NHQ and Director General, CPC exercise their responsibilities is replicated throughout the NCR, and in the case of investigations into sexual misconduct and harassment at the CPC, contributed to the communications gap between the CPC management and the CO of NHQ. This resulted in a lack of information sharing; led to erroneous perceptions about the severity and extent of the acts of misconduct committed and the state of the work environment at the ETU; and resulted in many missed opportunities for management to act appropriately and in accordance with RCMP policies and procedures to resolve this issue.
The Process Review
The review launched in response to the investigations into acts of sexual misconduct and harassment by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini also exposed historical evidence of poor leadership in the ETU, including prior to the arrival of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini. Although these behaviours were not as egregious as the sexual misconduct and harassment that is the subject of this report, it is clear that the combination of these factors culminated in a work environment wherein employees who were either victimized or who witnessed these acts of misconduct either left the unit, or never reported the full range of behaviours observed.
On June 11, 2012, then-Sergeant Solesme was promoted to Staff Sergeant, and became the non-commissioned officer-in-charge (NCO i/c) of the ETU. CM Calandrini, a civilian with extensive expertise in explosive forced entries, had worked at the ETU since 2008.
Many employees working at the ETU at that time developed an unfavourable opinion of S/Sgt. Solesme because of his management style. Witnesses interviewed as part of investigations into alleged sexual misconduct reported that S/Sgt. Solesme bullied and harassed his subordinates, and refrained from consultations or providing clear direction on ETU operations.
The first disclosure of egregious misconduct on the part of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini at the ETU was raised to CPC management on April 15, 2014, during a meeting between an ETU instructor and S/Sgt. Solesme's manager. The acts alleged by the ETU instructor included at least one instance of nudity in the case of S/Sgt. Solesme, and at least three instances of nudity in the case of CM Calandrini. The instructor also alleged that in April 2014, CM Calandrini sent a photograph via text message to another ETU employee of his bare buttocks. The allegations made by this employee led to the launch of the first investigations into S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini's misconduct at the CPC.
a) First Round of Investigations
When allegations of sexual misconduct were brought to the attention of CPC senior management on April 15, 2014, management acted swiftly to initiate internal investigations into the conduct of both individuals. The investigations were both initiated on April 17, 2014, and included allegations against both men of nudity in the workplace during the approximate period between June 01, 2012, and December 31, 2013. These investigations further included the allegation that CM Calandrini sent a picture of his nude buttocks to another ETU instructor via text message on April 02, 2014.
Central to these investigations was the collection of statements from other individuals employed at the ETU during the time the alleged acts took place. While witnesses could not recall specific dates, they alleged multiple instances of nudity in the workplace on the part of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini between approximately June 01, 2012 and the December 31, 2013. Witnesses described the behaviour as inappropriate but they did not believe that either individual acted with malicious intent.
In providing their statements at the time, victims and witnesses were not forthcoming; although they detailed acts of harassment, bullying and nudity, they did not reveal further allegations that would later surface, including allegations of sexual touching made in November 2014. A review of the recordings from all interviews revealed that the witnesses were asked open-ended questions and invited to expand on their answers. According to witnesses who were interviewed during this review process, the acts of misconduct by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were not immediately reported, nor fully detailed, due to embarrassment and fear of reprisals or being labelled as "rats."
On May 06, 2014, following the completion of initial investigations, the CO of NHQ ordered the suspension of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini. At the time of the initial disclosure in April, 2014, senior management at the CPC chose not to immediately suspend these individuals, due to the fact that the individual who initially reported the acts of misconduct was on sick leave, there were no identified victims and the allegations of nudity did not involve any individuals except the two accused of misconduct. In addition, though witnesses understood the actions of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini to be inappropriate, they did not report them as being malicious in intent.
However, witnesses would later report that the delay in suspending S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini had a detrimental effect on workplace wellness, as their presence during the ongoing investigations served to raise the level of toxicity that existed at the ETU. Witnesses alleged that they were bullied and intimidated by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini during this time.
After S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were placed on suspension, efforts were made by CPC management to improve the working environment at the ETU, including bringing a psychologist to the ETU to assist employees. Though both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini remained suspended until their Adjudication Board hearings in December 2014, they continued to communicate with some employees of the ETU, and some of these individuals believed that S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini would return to the unit following the completion of their suspensions. This meant that victims and witnesses continued to fear reprisal, despite the fact they no longer had to work alongside S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini.
On May 15, 2014, the investigators completed their investigation report under the old RCMP Act, 1988 disciplinary regime. Given the gravity of the allegations, the CO of NHQ determined that there were grounds to proceed with the formal process under the RCMP Act, 1988, which allowed for serious sanctions to be imposed by the Adjudication Board; for example, dismissal, demotion or forfeiture of pay. The Adjudication Board heard the cases in December 2014, and during that time, both individuals remained suspended from work.
At the December 2014 hearings, both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini admitted to certain allegations against them, and thus the hearings proceeded by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF). The ASF involved discussions between the CO of NHQ's legal representation and that of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini concerning the facts associated with the events in question, and ultimately, required all parties to come to an agreement on a common account of these events, which was submitted to Adjudication Board.
Although the ASF process can be a very effective means of resolving issues quickly, in this case it resulted in both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini agreeing to specific acts of misconduct, but diluted the most egregious elements of the allegations. The accepted ASF was the basis upon which the Adjudication Board made its ultimate decision on sanctions.
With respect to S/Sgt. Solesme, the Adjudication Board imposed the CO of NHQ's requested sanction, which consisted of a reprimand and the forfeiture of seven days' pay. In the case of CM Calandrini, the CO of NHQ proposed a sanction of a reprimand and a forfeiture of ten days' pay, as well as a recommendation for professional counselling. After considering the facts provided, including the ASF, the Adjudication Board imposed a sanction of reprimand and the forfeiture of five days' pay. The Adjudication Board did not include a recommendation for counselling in its ruling, despite concerns on the part of the CO of NHQ.
Once the hearings were completed, both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were reinstated upon return from their first suspension. CPC senior management had the authority to decide where both individuals would work following their suspensions. Neither individual returned to work directly with any witnesses or victims. In January, 2015, CM Calandrini was re-assigned to the Technical and Protective Operations Facility (TPOF) in Ottawa and S/Sgt. Solesme returned to the CPC, but in a separate location from the ETU. He was not given a supervisory role.
b) Second Round of Investigations
On November 25, 2014, while S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini were suspended and waiting to go before the Adjudication Board, an ETU employee who had already been interviewed as part of the first investigations in April 2014, came forward with new allegations of sexual assault by CM Calandrini. These new allegations prompted a new investigation into the conduct of CM Calandrini, which was initiated on December 02, 2014, under the new conduct regime, as per the amended RCMP Act, 2014.
In addition to carrying out a new conduct investigation into the allegations of sexual assault, in accordance with RCMP policy, the RCMP also notified Ottawa Police Service (OPS), as the police of jurisdiction, of the sexual assault allegations. OPS launched a criminal investigation, but in February 2015, concluded that it would not proceed with criminal charges of sexual assault against CM Calandrini.
These incidents of unwanted sexual touching were not reported to CPC management at the time that they occurred, nor were they reported during the interviews conducted in April 2014 for the initial allegations of nudity. When asked why the misconduct was not reported earlier, the victim cited a variety of reasons, including feelings of discomfort and shame. The alleged sexual assault was reported to have occurred during the approximate timeframe that acts of nudity at the ETU were also alleged (between August 31, 2012 and October 29, 2013), and included unwanted touching.
Following the decision by OPS not to pursue sexual assault charges, the RCMP proceeded with a new conduct investigation and obtained several witness statements. When interviewed, CM Calandrini advised that he was joking with the victim, and that he had not intended to make the victim feel uncomfortable.
During this new conduct investigation, several new allegations of misconduct came to light against both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini, as well as against another ETU employee, similar to those earlier alleged, with further details concerning bullying and harassment. Neither management, nor the CO of NHQ, ordered expanded or further investigations into these new allegations.
By October 2015, the new investigation into CM Calandrini's conduct had reached a conclusion. As noted above, under the new conduct regime, matters are only referred to an Adjudication Board when dismissal is being sought. In this particular matter, dismissal was not sought by the CO of NHQ; therefore the conduct measures were imposed by way of a Record of Decision, a written decision outlining findings of alleged contravention of the Code of Conduct, any conduct measure imposed and the reason for that decision. Similar to the Government of Canada Public Service discipline process, these Records of Decision are issued by the CO of NHQ to the member under investigation only and are not shared more broadly. On October 05, 2015, the CO of NHQ found that all three allegations of inappropriate touching were established. CM Calandrini received five days' forfeiture of pay for each allegation, resulting in a financial penalty of 15 days of pay, or 120 hours.
In January 2016, the Professional Responsibility Officer (PRO) reviewed a summary of conduct matters for NHQ in a briefing package and became aware of the measures imposed by the CO of NHQ in relation to CM Calandrini. Based on that summary, on January 08, 2016, the PRO requested an initial review by the Professional Responsibility Sector (PRS) to determine if there were any concerns with the measures that were imposed for the inappropriate touching of another employee at the ETU. The PRO is designated, pursuant to section 9 of the Commissioner's Standing Orders (CSO), to review and determine if a decision made in a case of misconduct is unreasonable or the measures imposed are disproportionate to the nature and circumstances of the misconduct. The PRO completed a section 9 review and determined that the measures imposed on CM Calandrini were not commensurate with the severity of the misconduct, and as a result, a conduct hearing seeking dismissal was initiated, which has not yet been scheduled.
c) Launch of New Investigations
At the end of August 2015, ETU was merged with the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Unit, and physically moved from the CPC to Technical Operations at the Technical and Protective Operations Facility (TPOF) in Ottawa. The decision to amalgamate these two units was taken to improve efficiency and reduce duplication and costs, and was taken prior to the disclosure of any allegations. In September 08, 2015, due to a shortage of resources, Technical Operations management provided permission for S/Sgt. Solesme to fill in as a temporary instructor for the Police Explosives Technicians and Radiography course at TPOF. As such, S/Sgt. Solesme was required to work alongside victims of his earlier misconduct relating to nudity and harassment in the workplace. CPC senior management did not communicate S/Sgt. Solesme's return to the victims ahead of time and, when S/Sgt. Solesme returned unannounced, the victims remaining in the unit immediately left on indefinite leave from the worksite.
The witnesses and victims were not made aware of the conduct measures taken in response to acts of nudity, bullying, harassment and sexual touching by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini. In addition, key members of senior management at Technical Operations were unaware of some statements made by victims to their supervisors and management outside of the formal investigation process. As such, although the victims' distrust and discomfort with S/Sgt. Solesme was known to some members of CPC senior management, it was not fully conveyed to the Technical Operations manager who returned S/Sgt. Solesme to instruct the explosives course.
As a result of the new investigation, further allegations of misconduct have been disclosed with respect to S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini's conduct including bullying, intimidation, harassment and new allegations of unwanted sexual touching. Both S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini have again been suspended as a result of new investigations. Investigations have also since been launched into alleged acts of misconduct by a third individual who worked with S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini between June 2012 and December 2013. All of these investigations remain ongoing.
This report presents both the founded and alleged instances of misconduct by S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini; the initial conduct investigations and processes; and, the subsequent review of how the conduct regime responded to these events. It provides as much detail as possible, while also protecting the privacy of those that have been impacted.
As a result of the findings identified by the PRT in response to these events, the Steering Committee made 28 recommendations to RCMP senior executive. These recommendations speak to specific lessons learned from the investigations of these events, and address a wide range of issues, including governance, human resource management, and accountability and communication practices in the RCMP.
The RCMP fully supports the findings and accepts the recommendations. While progress has been made in addressing harassment and improving workplace health within the RCMP, it is without question that the egregious actions of S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini; the failure in the leadership of RCMP management; and, the systemic failure of both conduct regimes and human resource practices to address the situation are unacceptable. Specifically, the investigations and processes related to these events were fraught with missed opportunities to effectively deal with the misconduct, protect the victims and witnesses and heal the workplace. It is for these reasons that the RCMP Commissioner and the RCMP as an organization sincerely apologize to all who were negatively impacted.
Canadians must have confidence in their national police force; an internationally recognized, iconic Canadian symbol. The RCMP must continue to strengthen and promote workplace wellness, central to which is ensuring that RCMP employees are safe from harassment and have confidence in the internal processes to address employee misconduct. This report demonstrates that more work is required in order for the RCMP to deliver on this commitment to its employees and to Canadians at-large. The RCMP Commissioner will provide quarterly updates to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on the RCMP's progress in implementing the recommendations. The implementation of the recommendations contained here will, and must, be a priority of the RCMP to ensure the health and safety of its employees, and to regain the confidence of Canadians.
Findings and Recommendations
Incidents of nudity and unwelcome touching occurred at the ETU. This type of behaviour in the workplace is unacceptable, regardless of the intention, and must be eradicated from the workplace.
The incidents of nudity and unwelcome touching were not immediately reported by the victims/witnesses for a variety of reasons, including discomfort and fear. Prompt reporting of sexual misconduct in the workplace must be encouraged so that it can be addressed immediately with an appropriate response commensurate with the seriousness of such misconduct.
1. The RCMP engage immediately in a national initiative to eradicate sexual misconduct in the workplace through awareness, education, detection and a prompt and appropriate response to such misconduct. The national initiative should encourage the reporting of sexual misconduct and address the fear of reprisal. The national initiative has to be prominent and have a national coordinator and divisional participation.
2. In order to ensure an appropriate response commensurate with the seriousness of sexual misconduct, Conduct Authorities engage in a mandatory consultation with the Conduct Authority Representative Directorate (CARD) for any conduct matters regarding allegations of a sexual nature, allegations of unwanted sexual touching and/or allegations of exhibitionism.
S/Sgt. Solesme did not demonstrate the behaviour expected of a supervisor.
Middle management were well-intentioned but did not always follow best practices. In particular, there were missed opportunities with respect to processes, communication and wellness in the workplace.
3. A working group be established to identify training and developmental opportunities to strengthen supervisors' and managers' knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to:
- Supervisory duties;
- Conduct and harassment; and
- Workplace wellness, including the available supports to their employees and referral for medical assessments in appropriate circumstances.
Before and after their suspensions, S/Sgt. Solesme and CM Calandrini (the Subject Members) had contact with some witnesses, which adversely affected the wellness of the witnesses. The template suspension order does not contain a provision preventing Subject Members from contacting witnesses and attending RCMP worksites.
4. The templates for interim administrative measures (which include temporary reassignment and suspension) be revised to include provisions forbidding contact with potential witnesses, unless authorized (e.g. reporting to a supervisor who is a potential witness), and, in the case of a suspension, forbidding attendance at any RCMP worksite, except for the purpose of mandatory reporting or other approved reasons (e.g. Health Services).
Sexual misconduct in the workplace is a very serious misconduct that needs to be briefed at the highest level. The Commissioner was not briefed on the disposition of these conduct matters and the decisions regarding the return to work of the Subject Members.
5. A Commissioner's Briefing Note be mandatory for reporting the occurrence and the final outcomes of all incidents of sexual misconduct in the RCMP.
The lack of communication from management regarding the outcome of the conduct process and the reintegration of the Subject Members was not ill-intentioned, but did affect the wellness of employees of the ETU. The lack of communication was related, at least in part, to consideration of Subject Members' privacy in the conduct process. The conduct process did not provide the complainant members or witness members with any form of standing so as to be entitled to such information. The current conduct regime prevents the RCMP from disclosing the results of the conduct processes of its employees to complainants, witnesses and the general public.
6. The RCMP take the necessary steps to make the harassment and conduct process more transparent to complainants, witnesses and the public.
7. All new Conduct Board decisions be published on CanLii (the Canadian Legal Information Institute website) or a similar searchable database.
The Subject Members were reinstated from suspension without full engagement of Career Development and Resourcing (Staffing). Due to the fact that management did not fully engage RCMP staffing, the ETU management and staff did not fully benefit from the tools and expertise offered by staffing personnel.
8. The current structure of Human Resources and Professional Responsibility services be reviewed to determine whether or not more integration is required, given the interrelationship between many conduct measures and human resources.
9. Policy be implemented to make it mandatory for Career Development and Resourcing (Staffing) to be consulted whenever a member is being re-integrated into the workplace following a return to work from suspension.
10. If a transfer has not formed part of the measures imposed in the conduct process, there be an examination of the mandatory transfer of employees whenever they are involved in any sexual misconduct in the workplace or sexual misconduct in relation to any work-related activity.
The CO of NHQ is the Conduct Authority for the Canadian Police College and multiple other work sites across the NCR. Other than being the Conduct Authority, it is not clear what additional administrative authorities and oversight the CO of NHQ maintains over the CPC and other worksites across the NCR. This circumstance is unique to the NCR. Typically, a CO has full responsibility for their entire Division, including all operational and administrative oversight, which affords them knowledge and appreciation for dynamics in all work areas under their command. As an example, in this instance, management of the CPC felt that a transfer was a conduct decision to be made as part of the conduct process, and the Conduct Authority felt that a transfer ought to be a management decision. While transfer can be effected under the conduct process, management can also order a transfer.
11. In order to clarify roles and responsibilities, there be a review of the existing command structure of NHQ, including the roles and responsibilities of the CO and senior executives responsible for various business lines at NHQ, as it pertains to conduct and other administrative authorities for the main NHQ location and other worksites across the NCR.
The explosives field is a highly specialized area within the policing environment. At the time of the incidents, the CPC had recently undergone significant budgetary reductions. There was a strain on resources to provide the necessary explosives training courses and this caused challenges for management and employees.
12. CPC and TPOF management develop a human resources plan for ETU/CBRNE to address:
- Succession planning;
- Expanding upon the pool of qualified facilitators for highly specialized training; and
- Responding to surges in demand for services.
Historic allegations of inappropriate behaviour at the ETU at the CPC were revealed during the Process Review and are not limited to conduct on the part of the Subject Members. There appears to have been a lack of oversight of this small, specialized unit for several years. Early, proactive intervention might have avoided the misconduct that occurred at the ETU in 2012 and 2013. A mechanism needs to be initiated to identify workplaces that require additional guidance, support or other intervention.
13. A management Review take place at the integrated ETU and CBRNE unit at TPOF.
14. The RCMP employ an objective mechanism across the entire organization at the unit level to determine the current wellness of the organization.
15. The National Early Intervention System (NEIS) early awareness tool be expanded to identify worksites and/or supervisors that are in need of guidance, support or other intervention.
16. When worksites are identified by NEIS, an ad hoc multi-disciplinary team be deployed to immediately address the issue(s), as well as employee wellness in the workplace. The method of engagement, composition and skill set requirements, etc., of the team to be determined by a working group.
Witness members reported poor employee wellness in the workplace both related to misconduct and unrelated to misconduct. Wellness in the workplace remained an issue for complainant and witness employees both during and after the investigation and disposition of these matters.
17. An "Employee Satisfaction and Engagement Assessment" take place at the integrated ETU-CBRNE unit at TPOF and also at CPC. It is further recommended that this assessment take place annually for a period of three years, after which time it is to be reviewed to determine whether it will be continued, and if so, at what frequency.
18. Guidelines be developed to guide harassment investigators' approach to complainants alleging sexual misconduct and witnesses to sexual misconduct, to ensure the complainants' and witnesses' wellbeing is considered throughout the entire process.
Although the investigations were completed pursuant to the required guidelines, certain investigation processes could have been improved.
19. With respect to conduct and harassment investigations:
- Statements should not be obtained outside a formal investigation process;
- A complete statement from the complainant is obtained before meeting with any other witness; and
- Statements be electronically recorded except where there is valid reason otherwise (e.g., witness refuses to consent to electronic recording), and where a recording has malfunctioned, the investigator have the witness read and sign off on relevant notes or a written statement.
The content of the ASF before the Adjudication Board was criticized for not providing a full picture to the Adjudication Board. Witness members were highly critical of certain omissions.
20. In relation to ASFs, a training standard and guide be created for the CARD, the Member Representative Directorate (MRD) and the Level III Conduct Authority to describe:
- The circumstances in which an ASF would be appropriate;
- How ASFs should be drafted;
- The types of allegations to be excluded from any ASF negotiation (i.e. sexual misconduct).
21. It is also recommended that an independent review process, by a person designated by the Director General, Recourse Services Branch, be implemented to approve ASFs prior to being submitted to a Conduct Board.
22. Periodic audits of ASFs be conducted.
The Employee Management Relations Officer for NHQ advocated for dismissal of the Subject Members when her advice was solicited. Ultimately, dismissal was not sought.
23. Conduct authorities be instructed that advice provided to a Conduct Authority by a conduct or other advisor (e.g., Employment Management Relations Officer) be recorded on the file and when this advice is not followed in a conduct process, that the Conduct Authority also provide written justification on the file.
24. Conduct Authorities be instructed to ensure that Records of Decision address the application of measures that fall outside of the ranges set forth in the Conduct Measures Guide.
The incidents of sexual misconduct in the workplace had significant impacts on the complainants and other witnesses. For matters that are referred to a Conduct Board and may be delayed as a result of a backlog of cases waiting for adjudication, the impact on complainants and witnesses is then prolonged. Therefore, efforts should be made to prioritize cases of sexual misconduct that are referred to a Conduct Board.
25. The PRS develop a clear definition of what constitutes sexual misconduct.
26. The PRS implement the prioritization of sexual misconduct cases referred to a Conduct Board, in light of the impact on complainants and witnesses.
The CPC ETU was amalgamated with CBRNE Operations at TPOF in August 2015. As a result, ETU employees moved from the CPC to TPOF and were under new management. The new management was not comprehensively briefed on the previous conduct and circumstances of the ETU and its personnel.
27. When there is a change in management, that the outgoing Commander develop a "Transfer of Command Briefing Package" including mandated items such as HR considerations, including conduct issues and succession planning issues.
The management and staff involved in initiating and investigating the Code of Conduct allegations did so in accordance with the conduct mandate letters. Witnesses reported feeling that they were unable to provide a fulsome reporting of misconduct during the investigation processes due to the language used in the mandate letters.
28. The PRS examine the process by which investigations are mandated (via conduct investigation mandate letters) to ensure that mandate letters are appropriately drafted, in particular, that mandate letters related to sexual misconduct are being drafted in a comprehensive manner and addressing all the essential elements of the alleged misconduct.
- Agreed Statement of Facts – ASF
- Canadian Police College – CPC
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives – CBRNE
- Civilian Member – CM
- Commanding Officer – CO
- Conduct Authority Representative Directorate – CARD
- Explosives Training Unit – ETU
- Member Representative Directorate – MRD
- National Early Intervention System – NEIS
- National Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – NHQ
- Non-commissioned officer-in-charge – NCO i/c
- Ottawa Police Service – OPS
- Process Review Team – PRT
- Professional Responsibility Officer – PRO
- Professional Responsibility Sector – PRS
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police – RCMP
- Staff Sergeant – S/Sgt.
- Technical and Protective Operations Facility – TPOF
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