Cases Subject to Review
The RCMP Act and RCMP Regulations require the Commissioner of the RCMP to refer appeals of decisions in certain internal RCMP labour relations cases to the RCMP Review Committee (ERC) for review before final decisions are made. The ERC is an independent administrative tribunal. Based on its review of referred files, the ERC issues findings and recommendations for final decisions to the Commissioner of the RCMP. The Commissioner is the final decision-maker and must consider the ERC's findings and recommendations. If the Commissioner does not follow the ERC's recommendations, the RCMP Act requires the Commissioner to include the reasons for not doing so in the decision.
The scope and nature of the matters referred to the ERC for review by the RCMP changed recently when amendments to the RCMP Act, RCMP Regulations and associated Commissioner's Standing Orders (CSOs) came into force, as of November 28, 2014. This has resulted in the RCMP presently referring two streams of cases to the ERC for its independent review: cases referred under the current legislation, since November 2014; and, still active “legacy” cases which commenced under the former legislation.
(See also Diagram 1, below: ERC Case File Reviews - Scope and Process.)
Current Legislation Cases
The following kinds of case files must be referred to the ERC for review, findings and recommendations under the current legislation:
Conduct Decisions/Measures Imposed on Members: Appeals of RCMP Conduct Board and Conduct Authority decisions that impose the following measures on RCMP members in light of their personal conduct are referred to the ERC:
- financial penalty of more than one day of a member's pay;
- direction to resign; and,
- dismissal or a recommendation for dismissal.
This represents a subset of a broader set of remedial, corrective and serious conduct measures which can be imposed on a member of the Force for a contravention of the Code of Conduct of the RCMP. Conduct measures may be imposed by a Conduct Authority (RCMP managers at several levels, as identified in the CSOs) or by a Conduct Board (one or more persons appointed by an RCMP officer designated by the Commissioner of the RCMP).
Decisions on Harassment Complaints: An appeal by a complainant of a written decision regarding a harassment complaint by a designated decision maker following an investigation of the complaint is referred to the ERC. A respondent in a harassment complaint (the person alleged to have engaged in harassing behaviour) may appeal a harassment-related decision when certain referable conduct measures are imposed.
Decisions to Discharge or Demote a Member: An appeal of a decision to discharge or demote a member for the following reasons is referred to the ERC: unsatisfactory performance; being absent from duty; conflict of interest; and, disability, as defined in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Stoppage of Member Pay and Allowances: An appeal of a decision to stop a member's pay and allowances while a member is suspended from duty is referred to the ERC if the decision is made because a member was suspended for contravening or being suspected of contravening the Code of Conduct, an Act of Parliament, or an Act of a legislature of a province.
Revocation of an Appointment: An appeal of a decision revoking the appointment of a person as a member or revoking the appointment of a member by way of promotion to a higher rank or level is referred to the ERC.
“Legacy” Cases - Former Legislation
The kinds of files that will continue to be referred for independent review by the ERC under the former legislation for a number of years (until there are no more referable active cases) are:
Grievances: Under the former RCMP Act, “grievances” referred to the ERC covered a broad range of RCMP member rights and interests, from claims for reimbursement of expenses to the right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Grievances historically represented the greatest number of cases referred to the ERC.
In the grievance process, an RCMP officer designated as a Level I Adjudicator considers and decides a grievance. If the grievor is dissatisfied with the Level I Adjudicator's decision, the grievor may file a Level II grievance which is decided by the Commissioner of the RCMP or a designate. Under Part III of the former RCMP Act and section 36 of the former RCMP Regulations, the Commissioner refers grievances involving the following issues to the ERC for its review:
- the Force's interpretation and application of government policies that apply to government departments and that have been made to apply to members;
- the stoppage of the pay and allowances of members made pursuant to subsection 22(3) of the former RCMP Act;
- the Force's interpretation and application of the Isolated Posts Directive;
- the Force's interpretation and application of the RCMP Relocation Directive; and
- administrative discharge for reasons of physical or mental disability, abandonment of post or irregular appointment.
Appeals of Discipline (Adjudication) Board Decisions: Under Part IV of the former RCMP Act, when an RCMP member is alleged to have committed a serious violation of the RCMP Code of Conduct and formal discipline is initiated, an internal hearing is held to determine whether or not the allegations are established and, if so, the appropriate sanction. The matter is heard by an Adjudication Board consisting of three RCMP officers. If, after the Board renders its decision, either Force management or the member wishes to appeal that decision to the Commissioner of the RCMP, the Appellant and the Respondent provide written submissions to the Commissioner. The Commissioner then refers the file to the ERC for its review.
Appeals of Discharge/Demotion Board Decisions: Under Part V of the former RCMP Act (now repealed), a discharge or demotion proceeding may be initiated against a member for failing to perform his/her duties in a satisfactory manner. When this happens, the member may request that a Discharge and Demotion Board, consisting of three officers of the RCMP, be convened to review the matter. The decision of the Board may be appealed by either the member or the Appropriate Officer who initiated the proceeding. Appeal submissions are made in writing to the Commissioner of the RCMP. The Commissioner then refers the files to the ERC for its review.
ERC Case File Reviews – Scope and Process
Action/Decision and Authority
RCMP – Legacy Cases
Level I grievance Decision – Authority: Level I Grievance Adjudicator
Disciplinary Decision – Authority: Adjudication Board
Discharge /Demotion Decision– Authority: Discharge/Demotion Board
RCMP - New Legislation Cases
Conduct Decision/Measure – Authority: Conduct Authority or Conduct Board
Harassment Complaint Decision – Authority: Designated Decision Maker
Stoppage of Pay and Allowances Decision - Authority: Designated Decision Maker
Discharge/Demotion Decision - Authority: Designated Decision Maker
Revocation of an appointment Decision - Authority: Designated Decision Maker
RCMP Legacy Cases and RCMP New Legislation Cases
RCMP decision appealed and referred to the ERC for case file review
Chair issues findings and recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner
RCMP Legacy Cases and RCMP New Legislation Cases
RCMP Commissioner or delegate considers ERC findings and recommendations
RCMP Commissioner or delegate renders final decision
Parties may apply to the Federal Court for a Judicial Review of the RCMP Commissioner's decision
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