Blue Line

Inquiry calls for changes to clarify relationship between RCMP, federal government

March 30, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Mar. 30, 2023, Ottawa, Ont. – A public inquiry is calling for a clearer definition of the relationship between the federal minister of public safety and the commissioner of the RCMP.

The Mass Casualty Commission, which examined the circumstances and aftermath of the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia, says the RCMP Act should clarify that the top Mountie acts according to written directions of the minister, instead of under the minister’s direction.

During the inquiry’s public hearings, a number of senior members of the Nova Scotia RCMP accused then-commissioner Brenda Lucki and former public safety minister Bill Blair of political interference in the investigation.

That stemmed from a teleconference 10 days after the massacre in which Lucki referenced federal gun control legislation and expressed frustration with local RCMP over their communication with the public, especially about details of the weapons used in the killing.


It resulted in weeks of political squabbling in Ottawa over whether Blair and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were interfering in the investigation.

In its report, the commission says there was no interference, but it calls for written policies to set out the roles and responsibilities of the RCMP and the minister.

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