Systemic Racism in the RCMP (RCMP)
To address concerns regarding systemic racism in the RCMP.
- The RCMP is taking a clear stand against all forms of racism and discrimination, in its workplace and in the delivery of policing services to the public.
- The RCMP is an organization where treating others with dignity is expected and respect is earned.
- It is critically important for Canadians to feel protected by the police. The RCMP is committed to taking whatever steps are required to enhance trust between the RCMP and the communities they serve.
- In any interaction with the public, RCMP employees are guided by the RCMP’s Bias-Free Policing policy, which is based on the principles of equity and non-discrimination, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the RCMP Act and the RCMP’s core values.
- The RCMP is working with partners to examine the collection and analysis of race-based data to better understand how it delivers services to diverse communities.
- Access to this data will allow the RCMP to review and update its policies, procedures and training to address systemic racism and discrimination, and to ensure the RCMP remains a proactive, nimble and responsive police service for Canadians across the country.
- Internally, the RCMP has launched an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy with a number of measures to address systemic racism throughout the organization.
- The strategy will set the foundation to embed EDI in the RCMP’s systems by engaging leadership, supporting clarity, transparency and accountability, enhancing awareness and education and identifying key areas in need of change.
- The 2021-2022 Federal Budget allocated $75 M over five years and $13.5 M ongoing to address the issue of systemic racism in the RCMP. This funding will also address parallel discrimination issues under the RCMP’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
The RCMP faces greater scrutiny amidst the racial reckoning that Black, Indigenous, Asian, and racialized communities experienced throughout the pandemic. This includes tumultuous events, including the death of George Floyd, the discovery of hundreds of Indigenous residential schoolchildren’s remains, and the rise of Anti-Asian Hate.
This has resulted in an increase in calls to hold the RCMP, and other government departments and agencies accountable, culminating in the release of the previous parliamentary session’s Standing Committee of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, “Report on Systemic Racism in Policing in Canada”, just this past June. This report included a variety of recommendations directed at the RCMP to tackle systemic racism. These range from, shortening the response rate time to the Civilian Rights and Complaint’s Commission, to collecting disaggregated race-based data.
Over the past two years, the RCMP has initiated a review of its policies and programs to ensure they are barrier-free for all equity-seeking groups. This included a GBA+ analysis of its recruiting process, which identified areas for improvement such as the expansion of applicant eligibility to Permanent Residents. Further reviews are underway to address areas that are barriers to diverse applicants.
Over the past year, the RCMP has been working towards the development of its first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. The strategy is designed to establish a strong foundation for equity, diversity and inclusion practice, by being clear and coherent about directions for focused action including on recognizing and living RCMP values that speak to the fundamental dignity of all individuals.
The Strategy will support leaders at all levels of the organization and engage them to establish:
- solid governance;
- clear, transparent and accountable practices;
- stronger education, awareness and training regimes, and
- the foundations for culture change.
The strategy is an important component of the RCMP’s response to concerns of systemic racism from the public, the media and government.
Vision 150 bolsters the RCMP’s commitment to tackling systemic racism through organizational culture change. The RCMP will accomplish this by implementing key initiatives such as the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, including the RCMP’s upcoming Anti-Racism course, a new suite of performance metrics, and through renewal of the RCMP’s Core Values. Each of these initiatives will work to educate RCMP personnel on systemic racism, discrimination, and unconscious bias, among other social phenomena.
Collection of disaggregated race-based data is a key Vision 150 initiative. The RCMP seeks to use this to determine if certain police intervention methods disproportionately affect certain marginalized communities. The RCMP has been working in collaboration with Statistics Canada, and in consultation with policing partners across the country, to help ensure that the data collected, across multiple mandates and jurisdictions, is reliable, accurate, and respectful of individual privacy rights.
Vision 150 will propel the RCMP’s efforts in tackling systemic racism in its service delivery and its practices, and will act as a launch pad to regain the public’s trust. These initiatives are a testament to the RCMP’s firm commitment in tackling systemic racism in the RCMP.
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