USJE letter to RCMP Commissioner regarding ICHR investigators

Dear Commissioner Lucki:

We appreciate your willingness to communicate with all bargaining agents in regards to the proposed use of ICHR (internal) investigators. 

We recognize that the ICHR is under significant pressures to investigate workplace harassment and violence claims, and that there appears to be some level of confidence among employees who are pursuing recourse through ICHR processes. We appreciate your agency’s willingness to proceed with  special large-scale call-ups with a number of qualified firms on the National Master Standing Offer list.

Secondly, we are heartened that PSPC and the Treasury Board have confirmed that the ICHR can enter into sole-source contracts with other companies with qualified resources that the ICHR can secure to conduct investigations exclusively for the RCMP.

This said, USJE unequivocally opposes the third option you have outlined which is the use of ICHR investigators. While we absolutely understand the urgency and gravity of the situation, USJE’s fundamental concern is that the use of internal investigators will undermine the early confidence in the ICHR, and ultimately discourage some of the most aggrieved and vulnerable RCMP employees from coming forward. 

We do not wish to diminish the predicament that the ICHR and RCMP finds itself in, and we can see that you are working diligently and creatively to find solutions. We thank you for these efforts. At the same time, some of the reasons for the establishment of the ICHR include the lack of confidence in the RCMP to investigate itself, and the appalling treatment of some of its employees which went unbated for years, if not decades.

In USJE’s view, the full independence of investigations is a non-negotiable feature of the RCMP’s commitment to preventing and responding to claims of workplace harassment and violence. This was reinforced in the Mandate letter Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino received in December 2021 at which time the Prime Minister urged that “Externalizing the Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution” be a top priority. 

We regret that ICHR is not yet fully equipped to manage the number of Notices of occurrence (NoOs) but we are hopeful that the first two efforts outlined above will bear fruit. 

Many thanks Commissioner for your willingness to solicit our feedback.


David Neufeld