Minister of Public Safety RCMP briefing binder - November 2019

This content represents the original documents that were provided in the transition binder for the new Minister of Public Safety. It has not been modified.

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Brief

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has a long history spanning nearly 150 years, with a role that has evolved significantly over that time. The organization was first created in 1873, out of a need for a national police force to implement the law in Canada's newly acquired western territories. By 1885, the then-titled North-West Mounted Police Force had grown to 1,000, gaining prominence policing the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1919, Parliament voted for the North-West Mounted Police to merge with the Dominion Police of Eastern Canada and become the RCMP; and by 1938, the RCMP nearly doubled in size by assuming provincial policing in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The years following World War II saw a continued expansion of the RCMP's role as a provincial force, and in 1989, the RCMP participated in its first United Nations mission, sending 100 police officers to Namibia to monitor national elections.

The RCMP is Canada's national police force. It is a world-renowned organization unique in its model and multifaceted mandate, providing policing to all provinces, all territories, more than 150 municipalities, and over 600 Indigenous communities. It provides support services to over 500 law enforcement agencies, all while collaborating with other federal organizations, countries, and international bodies to secure the country. No other Federal organization in the world is as multi-faceted as the RCMP. The organization is recognized at home and abroad as a key symbol for Canada operating from coast to coast to coast across 10 million square miles as well as internationally in 27 countries around the world. The RCMP is often the face of the federal government being visible in virtually all Canadian communities and being the only federal presence in many remote areas.

The organization consists of a diverse workforce that strives to be reflective of today's society comprised of approximately 30,000 employees: 19,035 police officers (known as "Regular Members" and Reservists), 3,445 Civilian Members, and 7,591 Public Service Employees. The RCMP delivers its policing services with an annual budget of approximately $5.249 billion.

The RCMP's complex scope of operations includes the three core responsibilities and business lines of Federal Policing, Specialized Policing Services, and Contract and Indigenous Policing. It provides policing, from rural and remote communities to major metropolitan areas, and along Canada's borders. The RCMP promotes collaboration internationally through capacity building and peacekeeping operations, through liaison officers all over the world, and also has a transnational role in areas such as cyber security (i.e. national security and threat assessments). It also provides scientific and training expertise, maintains critical information systems on behalf of law enforcement and criminal justice partners across the country, and uses science to support other law enforcement organizations (e.g. forensics and DNA analysis). The RCMP trains regular member police officers at its training facility in Regina, and police officers from across the country at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa. Operationally, the RCMP strives to maintain the highest standard in policing, to earn the trust of communities, and to keep Canada safe.

The RCMP is a vital institution in terms of delivering on key Government priorities. It is a critical component of Canada's public safety system, a respected international leader on national security issues, and a key partner that engages with Canada's allies and international police agencies. It has an important role to play in terms of Indigenous reconciliation, arctic sovereignty, and as part of the Federal Government's partnerships with Provinces, territories, and municipalities.

The RCMP also faces a number of challenges. It is evident that with societal change and the evolution of crime and threats, the expectations of policing have changed in recent years. Law enforcement faces more scrutiny, and must be able to respond to the needs of increasingly diverse populations, stakeholders, communities, and partners in different levels of government and police agencies within and outside Canada. The RCMP, through its processes, partnerships, and management practices, must continue to strive to meet these expectations in order to best protect Canadians.

The RCMP's external landscape reveals both risks and opportunities driven by environmental and technological change. Keeping up with the pace of technological advancement and the ever-increasing sophistication of crime will require innovative solutions to policing in a digital and globalized world. Issues such as organized crime, cybercrime, and online child sexual exploitation continue to present challenges for law enforcement.

Other contextual changes include the emergence and growth of new crime and victim demographics, and operating conditions that are increasingly global in scope. National security pressures such as foreign fighters, homegrown terrorism and extremism persist, and the RCMP remains under increased demand to respond to emerging issues including opioid and methamphetamine crises, natural disasters, as well as violence against Indigenous women and girls. The role of police as first responders on calls for individuals experiencing complex mental health or addictions issues, increased expectations on officer training, and the impact of scrutiny through social media exacerbate a complex work environment.

The nature of police work incurs a true cost in terms of employee mental health and psychological well-being. The organization has placed a high priority on employee health and wellness, building a respectful workplace, and supporting lifelong learning. It also continues to prioritize new tools, techniques, and technologies that will enable leading-edge modern and agile police services. This includes the creation of a Data Analytics program and the implementation of a digital policing strategy to improve officer safety and better engage with partners and the public.

Additionally, the organization continues to focus on coordinating intelligence-driven federal responses to issues such as money laundering and cybercrime, and on improving the RCMP's relationship with vulnerable communities, including through national partnerships with external experts to pilot crime prevention programs across Canada. In terms of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the RCMP acknowledges that relationship-building takes time and local initiatives must be community-driven. To this end, significant work to support Indigenous communities is taking place in the areas of justice initiatives, crime prevention, and training with much of this work embedded as part of the RCMP's community practices.

Internally, as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2023, the RCMP is taking the opportunity to modernize the organization through Vision150: a focus on people, culture, stewardship, and policing services. The Vision150 strategy is championed by the Commissioner and coordinated by a new office of Action, Innovation and Modernization. Initiatives that are underway as part of this strategy include a review of the harassment prevention and resolution process, the addition of support mechanisms in mental health, and the implementation of a people strategy emphasizing targeted recruitment, specialized training, and professionalization and civilianization of positions. The recent establishment of the RCMP's Management Advisory Board is another step toward the organization's transformation. The Board is comprised of external experts in the field who can provide fresh perspectives on improving internal management practices and other administrative issues.

Even with a number of initiatives underway, more is needed to mitigate emerging risks and to best deliver on the RCMP's mandate. The RCMP is dedicated to providing the Government with evidence-based policy advice and considerations in support of public safety and effective policies and programs for Canadians with the Minister's continued support.

The organization continues to leverage and realign program and operational resources, while maintaining critical systems and high-risk operations. The RCMP will continue to identify investments required to create the basic foundation for sustainability and future growth while conducting analyses to determine which activities will no longer be sustainable in the future. The RCMP looks forward to further briefing the Minister on this work.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Commissioner

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Act

The RCMP Act outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner of the RCMP and how the national police force is managed. According to the RCMP Act, the Commissioner, under the direction of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has the control and management of the RCMP and all related matters. The Minister is responsible for the Portfolio, and is accountable to Parliament and to Canadians for the actions and decisions of the agencies within the Portfolio, including the RCMP. Although reporting administratively to the Minister of Public Safety and the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, the Commissioner of the RCMP is autonomous when it comes to the operational and investigative activities of the organization.

The RCMP Act also provides a legal framework for measures related to the conduct or ability of officers (Regular Members) to perform their duties. Accordingly, the Commissioner has the ability to: act in staffing actions by appointing and/or promoting a member (s.6(4), s.7), or revoking the appointment (s.9.2), establish procedures to investigate and resolve harassment disputes (s.20.2(1)(l)), designate as peace officer any person under his/her jurisdiction (s.11.1(2)), and determine the learning, training, and development requirements for members (s.20.2(1)(a)).

The Commissioner acts on behalf of the Minister, exercising the Minister's statutory powers, and ensures the control and supervision of financial, human, and other resources. The accountability of the Commissioner to the Minister has both legal and administrative aspects, but is also part of a professional relationship, which is sometimes as immediate as a direct telephone call or information provided for a Cabinet committee meeting. The Minister depends on the Commissioner to provide timely advice and information on RCMP-related issues. The accountability of the Commissioner to the Minister reflects the following:

  • responsibility to the Minister for the authority exercised on his/her behalf;
  • ensuring that the Minister's policy positions on departmental and other government priorities are supported; and
  • ensuring that government-wide management practices are observed in the RCMP.

Ministerial Directives

The Ministerial Directive system is a means by which the Minister exercises responsibility over the RCMP. The system respects the RCMP's independence regarding operational matters by providing macro-level ministerial direction.

Organizational Governance Complexity

Brenda Lucki Commissioner Org Chart

These people report to Commissioner Brenda Lucki:

  • Legal Services: Senior General Counsel Barbara Massey
  • Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Stringer
  • Action, Innovation and Modernization: Deputy Commissioner Kevin R. Jones
  • Human Resources: Chief Human Resource Officer Gail Johnson
  • Corporate Management and Comptrollership: Chief Financial Officer Dennis Watters
  • Specialized Policing Services: Deputy Commissioner Stephen White
  • Contract and Indigenous Policing: Deputy Commissioner Brian Brennan
  • Federal Policing: Deputy Commissioner Michael Duheme
  • Strategic Policy and Planning: Chief Strategic Policy and Planning Officer Caroline Weber
  • Internal Audit, Evaluation and Review: A/Chief Audit and Evaluation Officer Marc Simard
  • Professional Responsibility Sector: A/Professional Responsibility Officers Steven Dunn and Stephane Drouin

KPMG Depiction of Organizational Governance Complexity *

If you would like to access the image on this page, "The RCMP External Stakeholder Environment" from the RCMP Resourcing Review by KPMG - May 2017, please submit a an informal request for a copy of Access to Information Act request A-2018-09108.

Key Facts and Figures

Scope of work

The RCMP provides policing services under contract to eight provinces (excluding Ontario and Quebec), three territories, approximately 150 municipalities, and over 600 Indigenous communities. The RCMP polices the vast majority of Canada's territory via approximately 700 detachments from coast to coast, responding to approximately 2.6 million calls for service each year. In addition, the RCMP provides federal policing services to all Canadians in such areas as national security threats, cyber-security, policing at Canada's borders, protective policing services (e.g. dignitaries), and internationally. The RCMP also provides critical support and services to over 500 domestic law enforcement agencies in areas such as, forensics, biology case work, and witness protection.


The RCMP has approximately 30,000 employees in three main categories of employees: Regular Members and Reservists (19,035), Civilian Members (3,445), and Public Service Employees (7,591). The overall annual budget of the RCMP is $5.249 billion. The demographics of the RCMP's workforce are included below:

RCMP Workforce Demographics
Category of Employee % Male % Female % Visible Minority % Aboriginal % People with Disabilities
Regular Member 78.2% 21.8% 11.5% 7.5% 1.6%
Civilian Member 48.9% 51.1% 14.0% 3.7% 2.8%
Indeterminate Public Service employee 22.2% 77.4% 14.0% 5.6% 4.0%
Overall 60.5% 39.5% 12.0% 6.8% 2.4%


The RCMP manages gross assets in excess of $3.6B with an annual Capital and Operating budget of $409M to maintain existing assets and invest in new capabilities. It is custodian of 1,173,414 m2 of real property comprised of over 4,200 buildings. The RCMP also manages a very large number of non-capitalized equipment and materiel - including over 14,000 vehicles, aircraft and boats, as well as specialized equipment such as for diving, explosive ordinance disposal, and biological and chemical defence.

Key Issue Notes

Modernization and culture change


The RCMP has an ambitious modernization agenda that touches on workplace culture, governance, and resourcing. The need for culture change and modernization is driven by challenges within the RCMP related to workforce generation and composition, as well as underlying culture and operational resourcing issues.

Drawing on recommendations from previous reports, RCMP culture change efforts are focused on four thematic areas, which include initiatives to 1) improve RCMP internal governance; 2) enhance leadership development; 3) build a more diverse and inclusive workforce; and 4) address issues of harassment highlighted by previous reviews, including the 2017 reports by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) for the RCMP and former Auditor General Sheila Fraser.

Current Status

Moving towards the RCMP's 150th anniversary, the organization is building a strategic plan, "Vision150", to align modernization objectives under 4 main pillars: Our People; Our Culture; Our Stewardship; and, Our Policing Services. Each pillar contains a series of objectives that serve as a framework through which modernization initiatives will be prioritized going forward. The recent establishment of the RCMP Action, Innovation and Modernization (AIM) Office will ensure centralized support to align and oversee the delivery of Vision 150 strategy and the RCMP transformation agenda.

As per the 2019 Government Response to the CRCC and Fraser Reports, the RCMP is advancing culture change in the following key areas:

  • A new civilian Management Advisory Board has been established to provide the Commissioner with expert external advice on the management and administration of the RCMP, including on culture change and modernization.
  • A new Chief Administrative Officer has been appointed to support the Commissioner by providing executive leadership to the overall administration of the organization.
Leadership Development
  • Previous reviews have identified the need to enhance leadership training as a key component of culture change. The RCMP is examining a character-based approach to leadership development, and will institute more rigorous, mandatory leadership development programs and promotional criteria. The introduction of a character- based leadership approach will provide the RCMP with a new way to develop the leadership qualities of all employees throughout their careers.
Diversity and Inclusion
  • Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is being used as a key modernization tool to help ensure gender, diversity and inclusion considerations are integrated in the development of RCMP policies, programs and services. This includes the introduction of a GBA+ expert on the RCMP's Senior Executive Committee to ensure GBA+ considerations are integrated within departmental deliberations and decision-making processes.
  • National and divisional Gender and Harassment Advisory Committees provide ongoing advice to the Commissioner and Commanding Officers on matters related to gender, sexual orientation, harassment, equity and inclusivity within the RCMP.
  • The law enforcement landscape has shifted significantly in recent years, including with respect to the capabilities required to combat modern threats. Meeting these new challenges will require diverse skillsets that differ from traditional policing roles. The RCMP is developing strategies to recruit a broader potential employee base with specialized education and skills, and a diversity of experiences and perspectives.
Trusted Harassment Resolution
  • Changes have been made to the RCMP's investigation and resolution of harassment complaints process, including the creation of a dedicated roster of external investigators, and a new procedure to ensure that complaints of sexual harassment be investigated by external civilian investigators. A greater emphasis is also being placed on training internal civilian harassment investigators.
  • In the near term, efforts will also be required to closely examine the effectiveness of the RCMP harassment complaints regime, noting that it is at the back end of the problem. A focus on prevention will be key, including increased workplace supports for RCMP employees, and proactive work to ensure greater gender parity, diversity and inclusion across the organization.

Strategic Considerations

Modernization and culture change at the RCMP can only be meaningfully advanced through a holistic long-term approach that addresses the underlying systemic issues impacting the Force. The AIM Office is working to identify the most strategic opportunities to advance modernization and to eliminate known barriers.

While organizational transformation is a top priority for the RCMP, continued resource pressures impact the ability to drive large-scale and sustained change. Moving forward, the RCMP will continue to advance the Vision150 strategy and initiatives in support of the modernization agenda, with a recognition that, in the absence of additional investment, comprehensive change will be limited in scope.

Financial Situation


In recent years, various temporary funding measures have allowed the RCMP to avoid program reductions that would have been necessary to align programs with available resources. In addition, external assessments have been conducted to assist the organization in addressing its financial pressures.

A key independent external assessment was led by KPMG in 2017 and provided the basis for the development of a comprehensive plan outlining investment requirements that would restore the integrity of existing programs, and provide capacity to modernize the RCMP's workplace and policing operations. The KPMG Review also highlighted the need to further assess the comprehensiveness of funding and cost sharing arrangements for services that the RCMP provides under policing services contracts or as part of its services to the broader law enforcement community as part of its National Police Services.

While financial resources have been provided to address specific public safety and security issues (i.e. decriminalization of cannabis, money laundering, cyber security), additional funding would allow the RCMP to provide stability to existing programs and capacity to the RCMP Commissioner to advance her modernization and culture change mandate.

Current status

Recent funding measures have gone some way to stabilizing the RCMP's funding over the medium term. Budget 2019 announced funding of $508.6 million to reinforce existing RCMP policing operations. Obtaining incremental resources for the RCMP is dependent on demonstrating that existing resources are used effectively as highlighted by the KPMG Review. The RCMP is fully supportive of further examination of its mandate and programs to help identify new or refined service delivery options and funding arrangements.

Strategic considerations

Net new investment would allow the RCMP to address risks and potential gaps in organizational capabilities. Many of these risks and gaps are in enabling functions that support the delivery of policing services such as HR programs; the RCMP's technology platform and applications; as well as enterprise planning, performance, and support capabilities and tools.

Labour relations


The RCMP has three main categories of employees: Regular Members (including Reservists): 19,035; Civilian Members: 3,445; and, Public Service Employees: 7,591. Members (Regular Members and Reservists, and Civilian Members) are appointed under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act), whereas Public Service Employees are appointed under the Public Service Employment Act. The three categories have distinct terms and conditions of employment, as well as differences in hiring practices and policies, classification standards, regimes for discipline, dismissal, pensions and benefits.

The current RCMP labour relations environment has been shaped by two key decisions:

  • The 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision that granted RCMP members the right to be represented by a bargaining agent and to engage in collective bargaining; and,
  • The Government's February 2017 decision to move forward with the RCMP Deeming Project, which will see Civilian Members deemed to be appointed under the Public Service Employment Act on May 21, 2020.

Historically, only the Public Service Employees at the RCMP have been unionized.

Current status

The 2015 Supreme Court decision applies to both Regular Members (including Reservists), and Civilian Members until they are deemed. As stipulated by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, the Terms and Conditions of Employment for all members will remain frozen until a collective agreement is in place, and/or, until Civilian Members have been deemed into their respective Public Service Employee occupational groups with their own bargaining agents.

On July 12, 2019, the National Police Federation was certified as the bargaining agent for Regular Members and Reservists and they served notice to commence bargaining on July 15, 2019. Formal collective bargaining is expected to get under way in December 2019 or early 2020.


The RCMP is working hand-in-hand with the Treasury Board Secretariat in preparation for RCMP member collective bargaining. [REDACTED]

The act of deeming will simplify the RCMP's workforce structure and support a more equitable treatment of RCMP employees so that employees doing the same work are subject to the same terms and conditions of employment, and receive the same pay and benefits. It will reduce the categories of employees from three to two: Regular Members (including Reservists) and Public Service Employees.

All Civilian Member positions have been assigned an occupational group and level in accordance with public service classification standards. A majority of Civilian Members are currently represented by public service bargaining agents, but are not subject to their collective agreements until deeming. TBS, as the Employer, is the lead in developing the deeming project schedule, including responsibility for its implementation and accountability for progress.

The department's Public Service Employees have a long history of unionization. While many public service bargaining agents have signed new collective agreements this year, the largest federal public service union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada is still in midst of bargaining. It represents RCMP employees in the Program and Administrative Services group, and the Technical Services group.

Strategic considerations

To date, the RCMP has been able to build and maintain a constructive, respectful and harmonious relationship with the National Police Federation, and is establishing a strategy that is focused on reaching a negotiated settlement at the bargaining table.

Parallel to efforts on the collective bargaining front, the RCMP must continue to prepare for the new labour relations reality of managing in a unionized workplace. Whereas the RCMP itself has traditionally advocated for its members with Government and central agencies, the shift to a unionized workplace will require a refocus of management's attention to the broader interests of the organization and the Employer, and allowing the bargaining agents to act as the chief advocates for their members.

A key factor that distinguishes RCMP collective bargaining from virtually all other bargaining at the federal level is our relationship with the Contract Partners. It is important that the unique perspective and vested interest of these key stakeholders be taken into consideration as the employer-side develops the collective bargaining strategy.

In terms of deeming, the RCMP Category of Employees project team continues to work with a focus on strengthening mitigation strategies, workplans, tools and communication products to minimize the impact of transferring Civilian Members from the Member Pay System to Phoenix. The RCMP, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and Public Services and Procurement Canada will continue to actively monitor and assess the situation to ensure civilian members are migrated seamlessly at deeming.

Litigation overview

The RCMP works with the Department of Justice (Justice) in a large number of legal proceedings, including: civil actions, judicial reviews, class actions, Charter applications, and applications for third party disclosure. The following provides an overview of key litigation implicating the RCMP.

Employee Class Actions

  • Merlo/Davidson: claim of harassment of female RCMP members and public service employees on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. A settlement agreement was approved in May of 2017, and change initiatives were implemented by December 31, 2017. A claims intake process ran from August 2017 to May 2018, in which 3131 claims were filed. There is an ongoing independent assessment of these claims with a target finish date of May, 2020. The Assessor is to prepare a report of observations and recommendations within 6 months after the end of the claims process (November 2020). A level 1-6 compensation structure has been established for disbursements to plaintiffs.
  • Tiller: claim of gender and sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination of female municipal employees and volunteers, who were not included in the Merlo/Davidson class. This action was certified on consent on July 5, 2019. A settlement is pending, with a settlement approval hearing scheduled for October 17, 2019, seeking the appointment of independent Claims Assessors, as well as an Administrator to administer the claims process.
  • Greenwood/Gray: non-gendered claim of systemic bullying, intimidation and harassment and breach of contract of those who worked for and/or with the RCMP in any capacity, including volunteers and students. The motion for certification has been heard by the Federal Court, and a decision will most likely not be rendered before November 2020. If the Crown is unsuccessful on the motion and intends to appeal, an appeal would need to be filed within 10 days of the decision.
  • Association des membres de la police montée du Quebec inc (AMPMQ): claim of non-gendered harassment of members on the basis of linguistic affiliation or for having advocated for member's associational rights. On August 15, 2018, the court certified the class action, the territorial scope of which was limited to Quebec. Next steps, including a common issues trial or hearing on the merits, are to be set by the court.
  • Corriveau: claim of sexual assault committed by RCMP physicians in the scope of physical examinations of RCMP applicants and members. This proposed class action was filed in January, 2019, but no further steps in the court proceedings have taken place. [REDACTED].

Harassment Litigation

There are 35 ongoing individual civil litigation files that allege workplace-related harassment of individual RCMP members, employees, and other persons working within RCMP premises.

Indigenous Litigation

[REDACTED] Final Report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Inquiry and the Attorney General of Canada's Directive on Civil Litigation involving Indigenous Peoples (Directive).

  • The Directive emphasizes the importance of resolving conflicts involving indigenous issues expeditiously and collaboratively, reducing the use of litigation and the courts.

Indigenous-related proposed class actions include:

  • Big Eagle: claim of systemic negligence by the RCMP and breaches of sections 7 and 15 of the Charter in relation to missing and murdered women and girls and their families. The Attorney General of Canada is to file its certification materials by November 29, 2019, and the certification hearing is scheduled to be heard on September 21, 2020.
  • Nasogaluak: claim of excessive force by the RCMP against Indigenous people in the three Northern territories; systemic negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breaches of sections 7 and 15 of the Charter. The certification hearing is scheduled to take place June 6-10, 2020.

Other claims

Other ongoing claims include: Tepper (negligence and breach of sections 7 and 8 of the Charter); Meng (false imprisonment, breach of sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Charter); and Lebeau (survivor pension benefits of spouses acquired after retirement).

RCMP Business Lines - overview

Contract and Indigenous Policing


Contract and Indigenous Policing is the policy centre located at National Headquarters that plays a key role in facilitating liaison, collaboration, and effective communications with its partners from provincial and territorial governments, as well as Public Safety Canada, as it relates to the Police Services Agreements.

It provides leadership and support to contract policing operations in the delivery of policing services, including policies, programs, research, tools, and equipment. Direct operational support is provided to Divisional programs in the development and maintenance of national standards with respect to training, equipment, accountability and planning. Contract and Indigenous Policing programs include:

National Criminal Operations: Develops national policies and procedures on equipment and on training in collaboration with RCMP Learning & Development.

Operational Readiness and Response: Develops, manages and implements operational standards, policy, procedures, programs, equipment (including procurement of goods) and training for the RCMP's Critical Incident and National Use of Force Programs. This policy area also includes Public Order, Emergency Medical Emergency Response, Crisis Negotiations, Emergency Management, Business Continuity and the National Operations Centre.

Strategic and Policing Agreements Branch: Provides advice, support and governance for the contractual arrangements between the federal government and its contracting partners.

Operations Systems Services Centre: Develops business strategies, defines and plans operational systems requirements, and maintains the policy/compliance program for the RCMP Operational Records Management System.

National Crime Prevention and Indigenous Policing Services: Provides national leadership and guidance on the health and safety of Indigenous communities, via culturally-sensitive policing to improve relations between Indigenous peoples, the RCMP and the Criminal Justice System. This includes through the development of national partnerships with external organizations and subject-matter experts to identify, adapt and pilot crime prevention programs across RCMP Divisions.

Strategic Policy, Operational Research and Secretariat Services: Provides horizontal support by supporting Contract and Indigenous Policing senior management and program areas. It also supports the identification and analysis of emerging and evolving issues and operational challenges facing Contract and Indigenous Policing through research and projects in support of policy development and program direction.

Current Status

As a result of the 2014 Missing and Murdered Women: A National Operational Overview, the RCMP is providing leadership through consulting national advisory bodies, such as the Commissioner's National Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Indigenous Women's Circle for Change. Developing and maintaining a foundation of strong relationships based on mutual respect with more than 600 Indigenous communities, organizations and governments at all levels ensures the ongoing delivery of culturally-appropriate policing services and the development of community crime prevention capacity. Contract and Indigenous Policing also supports a number of alternative community safety models, such as the Community Constable program and the Métis Community Liaison Officer program, which are focussed on community engagement and crime prevention.

In terms of reconciliation, Contract and Indigenous Policing acknowledges that relationship-building takes time and local initiatives must be community-driven. Contract and Indigenous Policing continues to work on improving its engagement with Indigenous partners and to provide opportunities for cultural competency training and experiential learning to employees to ensure delivery of a culturally responsive police service.

Contract and Indigenous Policing contributes to the prevention and reduction of youth involvement in crime by providing national leadership on effective methods to prevent, reduce and intervene on crime. Working in partnership with non-governmental organizations, other federal departments and divisional programs, Contract and Indigenous Policing supports Divisional crime prevention and reduction strategies through youth outreach, engagement, and focused intervention with those most at risk. Contract and Indigenous Policing's priorities related to youth include: bullying and cyberbullying; radicalization to violence; drug and alcohol abuse; and, healthy relationships.

Strategic Considerations

Contract and Indigenous Policing is recognized as an increasingly effective national policing model to address the cross-jurisdictional (i.e. municipal, provincial, territorial, national and international) and evolving nature of crime allowing the RCMP to provide consistent policing services to communities across Canada. The model allows the RCMP to leverage its resources from other Divisions and rapidly deploy RCMP officers to assist in complex or large-scale operations.

Public Safety Canada and the RCMP are undertaking an analysis of the program with a view to identifying options to improve the RCMP's policing services going forward.

Federal Policing


Under the authority of the RCMP Act and RCMP Regulations (1988), Federal Policing enforces federal laws, collects criminal intelligence, assists in the securing of Canada's borders, and ensures the safety of major events, state officials, dignitaries, and foreign missions. Federal Policing is also charged with protecting Canada's institutions and national security by preserving public safety and the integrity of Canada's political and economic systems.

Federal Policing investigates serious and organized crime, financial crime (e.g. corruption), and criminal activity related to national security (e.g. terrorism, espionage, proliferation, and threats to critical infrastructure). Legislated authority to conduct these investigations is derived from a number of Acts; key among these are the Criminal Code; the Security Offences Act; and the Security of Information Act.

In addition, Federal Policing plays a pivotal role in conducting international law enforcement capacity-building, supporting Canadian international police peacekeeping and police operations, as well as providing operational support and services to domestic law enforcement through its network of liaison officers deployed internationally. Its international network of liaison officers and analysts deployed overseas also advance international policing operations, through key information sharing networks, including INTERPOL and EUROPOL. The RCMP's engagement with international law enforcement partners is critical to the advancement of many of the RCMP's criminal investigations into serious and organized crime and national security. Further, it assists in preventing threats and criminal actors from reaching Canada.

The scope and depth of Federal Policing's remit underscores its centrality at the core of RCMP's operations. Its mandate is executed by a human resource contingent of approximately 5,000 employees across Canada and abroad.

Current status

The pace of technological change and the effects of a fast evolving threat environment are challenging the RCMP's capability. Further, the impact of pressures on the program's resource capacity has led to increased regionalization of Federal Policing resources in major urban centers, where the greatest threats and risks to public safety are located, and the reduction/elimination of participation in horizontal and time-limited initiatives that are not aligned to the Federal Policing mandate.

In order to align Federal Policing resources with the most significant domestic and international criminal threats, Federal Policing uses the scope of service elements and priorities to guide operations within its mandate. The scope of service helps identify occurrences that Federal Policing is best placed to investigate because of their complexity, severity, and/or cross-jurisdictional scope, including the extent to which the criminality threatens the political, economic, and/or social integrity of Canada, while considering the international/national impact.

Federal Policing operations are founded on intelligence to ensure operational decisions are based on the best information available; its priorities include national security, transnational and serious organized crime, and cyber-crime. These priorities orient the whole of Federal Policing towards preventing, detecting, and investigating the criminal activities that pose the greatest threat to Canada and Canadians.

National governance and oversight of operations ensure that the RCMP's federal investigations continue to be transparent, conducted in compliance with the most up-to- date operational policy and Ministerial Directives. A robust accountability system maintained at the national headquarters supports oversight and resource allocation to the key activities.

Strategic considerations

Consistent with the Commissioner's mandate to improve the management of the RCMP's resources and transform and modernize the RCMP's culture, Federal Policing has been focused on the transformation needed to keep pace with the rapidly evolving criminal landscape and Canadians' expectations for a modern, responsive and engaged RCMP. The cornerstone of Federal Policing modernization is what is needed to recruit and retain, engage, train, equip (tools and technology) and support a modern cadre of policing professionals in a healthy workplace. These efforts to transform Federal Policing's human resource model form part of the RCMP's commitment to modernization, and will require new approaches to recruitment, training and retention strategies.

Critical investments, in tandem with ongoing internal efforts, will enable the Federal Policing program to sustainably counter and prevent current and emerging threats to Canadians and Canadian institutions and enable the program to support the broader, horizontal and longer-term RCMP modernization and culture transformation initiatives.

Federal Policing continues to assess and adapt our response capabilities with the resources entrusted to us. In the short term, the reallocation of Federal Policing resources from non-Federally mandated/funded initiatives and low-priority files/initiatives remains important, in particular during the initial phases of modernization. Additional resources will be needed to maintain the integrity of our key programs to deliver our core mandate and to modernize our approach to policing.

Specialized Policing Services


Specialized Policing Services is an operational business line of the RCMP that provides a diverse range of services and expertise to other internal programs, as well as specialized national services, known as National Police Services, to law enforcement partners. Programs include those related to: analysis of violent and serial crimes; forensic and digital analysis; criminal records; identification services; technological capabilities; advanced learning; criminal intelligence; firearms; protection of RCMP assets; and information management and technology. Specialized Policing Services includes approximately 3500 employees, across six diverse business lines, the priority strategic considerations for which are outlined below.

Current status

Online Child Sexual Exploitation – The RCMP is the central resource for law enforcement investigations related to online child sexual exploitation. Reports to the RCMP of online child sexual exploitation have increased by 616% from 2014 to 2018. The RCMP is legislated to assess all registered child sex offenders to identify high risk offenders.

Security Screening Support for Other Government Departments – The RCMP provides law enforcement records checks to support federal departments' decisions on reliability statuses on a cost recovery basis, as well as through appropriations to support the cannabis licensing regime and the Transportation Security Clearance Program. In addition, the Standard on Security Screening (2014) requires this verification for enhanced security positions, for which the RCMP is not resourced to conduct.

Digital Evidence Challenges – The RCMP uses judicially-authorized technical methods to collect evidence related to serious crime. Collection is increasingly challenging due to: evolving technology, including encryption; the lack of intercept capabilities; and the lack of access to basic subscriber information.

Cross-Border Data Access – Digital evidence is often stored outside the country where the crime was committed. Traditional Mutual Legal Assistance requests are a vital tool for obtaining evidence, but are seen as too slow. To address these challenges, Canada is a party to the ongoing negotiation towards a 2nd Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention, [REDACTED].

In March 2018, the U.S. enacted the CLOUD Act. It clarifies that a court order served on a U.S. communications service provider reaches data that is stored in foreign jurisdictions. It allows the U.S. to enter into bilateral agreements with foreign governments to facilitate access by that country's law enforcement to data held by U.S. companies and vice versa. [REDACTED].

Cannabis Record Suspensions – In August 2019, legislation came into force that provides a streamlined process to allow individuals solely convicted of simple possession of cannabis to obtain a record suspension. Once the Parole Board orders a record suspension, the Criminal Records Act requires the RCMP to sequester all records of conviction for that individual.

National DNA Data Bank – Canada's DNA Identification Act permits the National DNA Data Bank, which is managed under Specialized Policing Services, to compare convicted offender DNA to unknown crime scene profiles to advance investigations. In 2018, three new humanitarian indices were added, including a Missing Persons Index.

National Forensic Laboratory Services – The Toxicology Services program provides analytical, technical, and court support services to impaired driving investigations. Following cannabis legislation, laboratory space is being upgraded and increased resources are being implemented to meet the projected demand from drug impaired driving investigations. The new capacity will be operational in summer 2021.

Canadian Firearms ProgramAn Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms (Bill C-71) received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019 and includes changes to the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code to repeal the authority to classify firearms less restrictively, repeal certain automatic authorizations to transport, and require licence verification and business record keeping, among other requirements.

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada – This program ensures the timely production and exchange of criminal information and intelligence across Canada's 400 law enforcement agencies in order to detect, reduce, disrupt and prevent organized and serious crime. The Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System is the only database available to Canadian law enforcement. Its outdated technology limits the support provided to frontline investigations and a modernized platform is required.

Information Management/Information Technology – The RCMP is finalizing a Digital Policing Strategy, consistent with the Government of Canada Digital Operations Strategic Plan. This includes initiatives to improve officer safety, leverage data as a strategic asset, engage with partners and the public, and modernize the workplace.

RCMP Internal services


To support the broad range of the RCMP's policing operations nationally on a 24/7 basis, the RCMP relies heavily on the expertise and dedication of personnel that work at headquarters and in divisions that provide corporate policy and internal services. These services also help the organization meet its commitments to broader Government of Canada policy requirements in the context of a policing service.

Current status

Action, Innovation, and Modernization supports the organization in its transformation and modernization agenda. This agenda includes continuing to ensure the health and safety of RCMP employees is protected, including from harassment and violence in the workplace, enhancing its role in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, as well as effectively and efficiently delivering policing services. AIM office is a permanent structure focused on the alignment of enterprise wide initiatives and works to identify and address systemic barriers that inhibit meaningful change. As a new office, AIM's first year is focused on supporting the advancement of Vision150 projects, to gain credibility that change is possible and to demonstrate results.

Corporate Management and Comptrollership (CM&C) has a primary role is ensuring good stewardship of finances and assets. Through the provision of services to clients in the areas of financial administration, investment planning, asset and facility management, and contracting and procurement across all levels of the organization. CM&C supports the RCMP in addressing its strategic priorities and ultimately enables the organization to provide "Safe homes and safe communities for Canadians".

Professional Responsibility Sector (PRS) manages RCMP policies, processes, and programs that promote and encourage professional behaviour, address conduct issues, and reward outstanding achievements. The mission of PRS is to uphold high standards of professional ethics and integrity expected of the organization by the employees and the public. PRS operates to guide employee behaviour, mitigate employee misconduct, as well as support an ethical culture. PRS activities are divided into three branches: public complaints; conduct, harassment investigation and resolution and; the grievance and appeal processes. PRS promotes ethical decision-making and policy-based advice and guidance to employees on the application of the RCMP mission, vision, values, and the Conflict of Interest Directive.

Internal Audit, Evaluation and Review (IAER) provides objective, independent, and credible information to support informed decision-making and promote efficiencies. IAER performs internal audits, program evaluations, and reviews of RCMP policies, programs, initiatives, and systems, and serves as the primary liaison for the RCMP with the Office of the Auditor General.

Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate (SPPD) is the RCMP's single point of contact for coordination and requests from the Public Safety Portfolio and Minister's office and serves as the centralized Directorate with relation to Cabinet and Parliamentary activities for the RCMP. SPPD is also responsible for the organization's senior executive and governance committees; the strategic policy and planning framework; National Communication Services; Access to Information and Privacy; Data Analytics; and Public Affairs including the RCMP Musical ride and Heritage Branch.

Human Resources (HR) consists of training, learning and development, compensation, labour relation, health and safety, and Veterans Affairs Canada Liaison. Of note, the HR Sector is leading a comprehensive People Strategy to address substantive changes required in the organization's workforce composition and its HR service delivery model. Across a minimum five-year horizon, the People Strategy proposes a number of short and longer term initiatives to not only realize efficiencies in the timely delivery of core programs, but also to foster a client-centered, proactive approach that enhances mental health in the workplace.

RCMP Legal Services Unit (Department of Justice Canada) provides legal services to the Government of Canada including advisory services to government organizations delivered through co-located Legal Services Units comprised of Justice counsel and RCMP administrative, financial and legal support staff. RCMP Legal Services Unit supports all RCMP business lines and divisions on advisory, litigation and legislative matters in support of RCMP and Government priorities including the RCMP's transformation/modernization agenda; national security; cyber security; firearms; and reconciliation and the overall mandate and operations of the RCMP.

Strategic considerations

The appointment of a Chief Administration Officer will provide the RCMP with a direct and constant link between federal government priorities and the overall administration of the RCMP.

RCMP Divisions - Overview

RCMP Divisions


The RCMP is organized into 15 Divisions, plus National Headquarters (NHQ) located in Ottawa. Each of the 13 provinces and territories in Canada represent a Division. In addition, there is National Division located in the National Capital Region, and Depot Division (cadet training academy) located in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Each Division is led by a Commanding Officer (CO) who is responsible for federal policing, contract policing (except in Ontario and Quebec), specialized policing services and internal services within their respective Divisions. The most senior ranking COs are Deputy Commissioners who report directly to the Commissioner, whereas the other COs report to the Deputy Commissioner of Contract and Indigenous Policing in NHQ. In their contract policing role, the COs (except in Ontario and Quebec) also act under the direction of provincial/territorial Ministers responsible for the administration of justice.

Contract Policing in Divisions
The RCMP provides front-line policing services under contract to all provinces (excluding Ontario and Quebec) and territories; approximately 150 municipalities; and over 600 Indigenous communities and three international airports. The RCMP polices the vast majority of Canada's territory via hundreds of detachments from coast to coast to coast.

Contract policing services are provided pursuant to Police Service Agreements (PSAs) between the federal government, provinces, territories and municipalities. Under the terms of the PSAs, the RCMP enforces the Criminal Code of Canada, and other federal and provincial statutes.

The PSAs for contract provinces/territories include a cost share arrangement whereby the provinces and territories pay 70% of RCMP costs and 30% is paid for by the federal government. For municipalities where the RCMP provides policing services under contract, the cost-sharing ratios vary as follows:

  • Population less than 15,000: 70% municipal and 30% federal;
  • Population greater than 15,000: 90% municipal and 10% federal; and,
  • Municipalities that have never previously been policed by the RCMP and wish to enter into a PSA with the federal government must pay 100% of policing costs.

Costs that are shared include such expenses as salaries and wages, transportation and travel, equipment purchases, employer pension contributions, and professional services, among others.

Contract policing is the largest component of all the RCMP's mandates making up of 65% of the RCMP's workforce. The contract policing services provided by the RCMP are very diverse in nature, spanning a vast variety of geographic regions, from rural communities to urban centres, to remote northern areas that are sparsely populated.

National Division
National Division, located in Ottawa, has a mandate to protect the integrity of Canada's interests by proactively and efficiently conducting and supporting high-priority sensitive investigations and protective operations for the Prime Minister and other dignitaries.

Depot Division
Depot Division is the RCMP's training academy located in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is where all RCMP cadets undergo their basic initial training. Currently, approximately 1,050 cadets graduate from Depot each fiscal year.

Federal Policing in Divisions
As Canada's national police service, the RCMP has a wide range of national security related mandates and responsibilities, which it delivers through its Federal Policing program. These include: national security criminal investigations, federal and international operations and protective policing services. The RCMP has employees across Canada and throughout the world dedicated to ensuring Canada's national security. In some instances, Federal Policing resources across Canada have been used to supplement some contract policing functions; however, over the past few years, the RCMP has re-prioritized its federal policing employees to focus on its federal policing mandates and responsibilities.

Strategic considerations

COs of contract Divisions have a unique role as they have the responsibility to fulfill both the federal policing as well as the contract policing mandates.

In the contract policing program, the provincial/territorial heads of government are ultimately responsible for setting the policing priorities, resource levels and budgets.

The PSAs afford Canada the benefit of maintaining a federal policing presence across the country. This presence, of employees and equipment, is deployable across Canada and has the capacity to respond to major investigations, emergencies, and national events that are beyond the policing capacity of a province, territory, municipality or Canada to address alone. The RCMP's multi-faceted policing roles allow for seamless cooperation and intelligence sharing between municipal, provincial, territorial, federal and international levels of policing.

Map of Canada with the Divisions

Map of Canada with the Divisions


  • DG - Direction, Ottawa, Ontario
  • National Division - Ottawa, Ontario
  • B - St. John's, Newfoundland
  • C - Montreal, Quebec
  • D - Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • E - Surrey, British Columbia
  • F - Regina, Saskatchewan
  • G - Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
  • H - Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • J - Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • K - Edmonton, Alberta
  • L - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • M - Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
  • O - London, Ontario
  • T - Depot, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • V - Iqaluit, Nunavut
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