December 13th, 2011
Bob Paulson, Commissioner
RCMP Headquarters, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, ON. K1A 0R2.
Dear Commissioner Paulson,
On behalf of the National Council of Women of Canada [NCWC] let me congratulate you on your appointment as Commissioner for the RCMP. Your long service and experience will be a significant asset to the Force so fabled throughout Canada’s history, a history that Canadians proudly applaud.
Our members are particularly encouraged by your vow to take a hard line on systemic problems within the RCMP.
As far back as 1973 NCWC members approved a resolution encouraging the hiring of women, on the same basis as men, within the RCMP. This initiative was seen as timely, necessary and an effective means to deal with the incidence of crimes involving women and children and bringing a women’s perspective to the justice system. However concern was expressed about the male dominated culture of the RCMP.
After 38 years, events of the last few weeks involving female members of the RCMP have done nothing to alleviate our concern. These reports are disappointing and discouraging and require your immediate attention. Workplace harassment and bullying in an organization like the RCMP must not be tolerated anymore than it can be in any other environment. If women within the Force are subjected to abuse and harassment what can members of the public expect when dealing with the RCMP? The time has come to take definitive action on this issue. The RCMP is no longer a boy’s only club. The place of women in the organization must be respected and valued. We urge you to make good on your promise to end systemic problems.
We would like to request a report from you on incidents of workplace harassment in the RCMP and how they have been handled, especially with respect to women officers, after you have been in office for six months and for a year. Clearly it takes time to change a culture, but leadership from the top makes all the difference.
We wish you well with your new and challenging assignment. The RCMP has long been a symbol of what works and what is respected across Canada: we certainly wish you the best in regaining your Force’s pre-eminent stature.
Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Solicitor General
Hon Vic Toews
Hon. Rona Ambrose, Minister, Status of Women
Ms. Nycole Turmel, Leader, New Democratic Party
Ms Francoise Boivin, Status of Women Critic, New Democratic Party
Hon. Bob Rae, Leader, Liberal Party
Hon. Judy Sgro, Status of Women Critic, Liberal Party
Hon. Carolyn Bennett