Serious Injury Definition

Description of the objective

On November 28, 2014, the RCMP Act was amended, thereby establishing a statutory framework to promote the transparency of investigations of serious incidents (death, serious injury, or public interest) involving RCMP members. Following a serious incident, the RCMP must refer the investigation to the provinces that will have the power to first consider the appointment of an independent, civilian-led investigative body (e.g., the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team). In jurisdictions that do not have such a body, the case would be referred to another police service to investigate.

Only as a matter of last resort, where neither the civilian investigative body nor another police service is available to investigate, will the RCMP investigate the case.

The RCMP Act defines “serious incident” as an incident in which the actions of an RCMP officer may have resulted in serious injury to, or the death of, any person; or, may have constituted a federal or provincial offence.

The RCMP Act allows for a regulatory definition of serious physical or psychological injuries.  The regulatory proposal will clarify what constitutes a serious physical injury so that the RCMP is aware of its obligations as to when there is a requirement to refer a serious incident investigation to a civilian investigation body or to another police service. Non-RCMP police services are not be bound by this definition.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Public Safety Canada consulted with key stakeholders (RCMP, Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, jurisdictions that contract the RCMP for their police services, provincial special investigation units, victim rights organizations, civil liberty groups and national police associations) on the definition.

The public will also have an opportunity to provide comments on these proposed regulations since a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette. Departmental officials may also work with the communication services to make the public consultations available on the Public Safety Canada Website.

Departmental contact

Jennifer MacKenzie
Manager, Policing Accountability
(613) 949-9076

For more information

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