Witness Protection Program Act - Annual report: 2016-2017


This is the twenty first Annual Report on the Witness Protection Program (WPP) as required by section 16 of the Witness Protection Program Act.

The WPP continues to be an effective tool for law enforcement to combat terrorism and organized crime. In the last year, in partnership with its many stakeholders, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has continued to work at implementing a number of significant enhancements in order for the Program to become more accountable, effective and protectee focused. The Program remains available to not only the RCMP, but to all law enforcement agencies in Canada and to foreign agencies. In addition, with the coming into force of Bill C-51 on November 1st, 2014, the Program is now available to any federal department, agency or service that has a mandate relating to national security, national defence or public safety matters.

The statistics included in this report are based on the services provided by the RCMP between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Protectees include individuals from RCMP cases, protectees referred by other Canadian police services and foreign protectees under subsection 14(2) of the Act. Protection given under subsection 14(2) is on a cost-recovery basis, including the related expenses of RCMP personnel.

In order to not jeopardize the integrity of the Program, or the safety of any individual within the Program, statistics on the Program have been provided, without details concerning individual cases.

Services provided:

The following is a breakdown of services provided to the law enforcement community (Tables 1 and 2):


During this period, the RCMP received requests to assess sixty four (64) files for admission purposes.

During this same period, fourteen (14) protectees were admitted to the Program, all but one of whom were granted a secure name change. Twelve (12) protectees accepted in the Program resulted from RCMP cases. Two (2) international protectees were admitted.

As well, during this period twenty three (23) cases were provided with alternative methods of protection. Alternative methods of protection are provided in cases where individuals refuse to be admitted into the WPP or fail to meet the criteria for admission into the Program. Some of the reasons stated for the refusals include the conditions imposed and an unwillingness to relocate.

The RCMP provided assistance to other Canadian law enforcement agencies during the last year, as specified under paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Act but did not admit any protectees on behalf of other Canadian law enforcement agencies.

Fluctuations related to admissions from year to year are largely due to: law enforcement activities during the fiscal year; single protectees, rather than those with dependents, being admitted to the Program; and variables outside the administration of the Program.


There were fifteen (15) cases of termination from the Program this year, twelve (12) cases of voluntary termination and three (3) cases of involuntary termination under section 9 of the Act.


There were no cases of civil litigation filed against the RCMP WPP during the reporting period.

Cost of the Program:

The RCMP is providing Parliament with a list of the costs to administer the WPP. Amounts provided are for those incurred by the RCMP only. These do not take into considerations expenses incurred by other law enforcement agencies.

Tables 3 and 4 include wages and benefits for personnel, expenses, travel costs, administrative and protectee relocation expenses totaling $11.6M. This total includes the cost of internal services of $1.6M which was not captured in previous years (e.g., financial management, legal services, real property services and human resources).

Table 1

Table 1: 2016/2017 Fiscal Year
2016/2017 Fiscal Year

Cases Assessed for the WPP


Protectees Admitted in the WPP


Total Secure Identity Changes


Voluntary Terminations


Involuntary Terminations


Refusal of Protection by Witnesses


Lawsuits / Complaints


Alternate Methods of Protection



Table 2

Summary of WPP Statistics 2015/2016 and 2016/2017
Image Description

This graph provides a summary of the Witness Protection Program (WPP) statistics, comparing the numbers from 2015/2016 to 2016/2017. This graph looks at cases assesses for the WPP (82 in 2015/2016 and 64 in 2016/2017), protectees admitted in the WPP (12 in 2015/2016 and 14 in 2016/2017), total secure identity changes (12 in 2015/2016 and 13 in 2016/2017), voluntary terminations (6 in 2015/2016 and 12 in 2016/2017), involuntary terminations (4 in 2015/2016 and 3 in 2016/2017), refusal of protection by witnesses (49 in 2015/2016 and 42 in 2016/2017), lawsuits/complaints (none in 2015/2016 and none in 2016/2017) and alternate methods of protection (25 in 2015/2016 and 23 in 2016/2017).

Table 3

RCMP Expenditures 2016/2017
Image Description

This graph provides the breakdown of the RCMP expenditures for 2016/2017 by percentage, including RCMP Compensation, 39.66%; Public Servant Compensation, 9.12%; Other Police Department Secondments, 2.03%; Travel, 4.36%; Administration, 4.36%; Witness Protection Expenses, 12.49%; Miscellaneous, 5.85%; Civil Litigation Costs, 0.33%; Internal Services Cost, 13.52%; and, Employee Benefit Plan, 8.28%.   

Table 4

Table 4 - RCMP Expenditures 2016/2017
RCMP Expenditures 2016/2017

RCMP Compensation


Public Servant Compensation


Other Police Department Secondments






Witness Protection Expenses




Civil Litigation Costs


Interal Services Cost $1,569,240.00
Emplpyee Benefit Plan $960,421.00



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