New civilian board to oversee embattled RCMP

The federal government is creating an external board of civilian advisers to help the Mounties try to modernize after decades of internal bullying and harassment.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki announced the plan Wednesday at a news conference in Ottawa.

Members of an interim board will be in place by April 1st, with legislative changes coming this spring to make it permanent.

The board will not be involved in matters relating to active law-enforcement investigations maintaining the principle of police independence.

The announcement is the Liberal government’s response to two critical 2017 reports.

In the first, the RCMP’s Civilian Complaints Commission stated Mounties did not have the will nor the ability to address the challenges that adversely affect its workplaces.

The commission recommended the government usher in civilian oversight for what it called the ‘paramilitary-style police force.’

The second report was a review of four harassment lawsuits from female RCMP members.

It also called for substantial reforms.

Lucki became the Mounties’ first permanent female commissioner in 2018 after taking over from Bob Paulson.

Before stepping down, Paulson delivered an apology to hundreds of current and former female officers and employees who were subjected to discrimination and harassment dating back to the 1980s.

Paulson also upset RCMP members before he left suggesting there are some racist officers on the force.

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