(Victoria Times Colonist) - Saying he is “amazed” by what “little authority” commanders have to discipline bad Mounties, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has vowed to table new legislation “very soon” that would give local RCMP leadership the ability to act quickly in cases of misconduct.
With just three weeks to go before the House of Commons rises for the summer, Toews acknowledged during a Commons committee meeting Thursday that he’s got a “short deadline” to bring forward a series of “very specific” changes to the RCMP Act.
“You cannot have a situation where you want to discipline and the individual is then placed on leave with pay and that goes on for years,” he said.
“There has to be immediate consequences and an appropriate route by which the process is fair.”
His comments came days after the force’s top cop issued an open letter to Canadians complaining about an antiquated RCMP disciplinary process that’s forever bogged down in red tape.
While RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson didn’t mention any specific cases in that letter, it appears his frustration reached a climax with the case of Donald Ray.
The Alberta Mountie was docked 10 days pay, given a formal reprimand and demoted a rank – yet was allowed to transfer to B.C. and keep his job even though adjudicators concluded he’d engaged in a “disturbing pattern” of behaviour that involved drinking on the job, exposing his penis to an employee, having sex in a polygraph suite during lunch breaks and making sexually harassing comments.
Paulson told media that Ray’s conduct and the punishment he received were a “sorry, sad and shameful set of facts.”
Meanwhile, a recent memo obtained by media from Paulson to fellow officers called the Ray case a “sad stain on our reputation” and warned of increased scrutiny and the likelihood of more media reports about “salacious and troubling details of member misconduct.”