March 3, 2023
Ottawa, ON — Following the release of a thorough and lengthy Final Report of the Public Order Emergency Commission, the National Police Federation is pleased to see that our submission was noted and, more importantly, that our key recommendations have served to inform the Final Report’s overall conclusions and recommended next steps.
As a participant in the Commission, the NPF presented a written closing submission that broadly analyzed the events that unfolded in Ottawa in January and February 2022. In doing so, we listed recommendations in four key areas that we believe would improve the coordination, appropriateness, and timeliness of responses among police agencies in the National Capital Region, as follows:
- Expanding the RCMP’s jurisdiction in Ottawa and at our borders
- Streamlining approval for RCMP Members to act during declared emergencies
- Establishing a new process to enable municipalities to ask for RCMP support and resources
- Creating national benchmarks for integrated command
“The National Police Federation welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Commission’s proceedings and provide recommendations that incorporate learnings and include forward-looking actions to improve police officer and public safety at future events that threaten public order,” said Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation.
In the Final Report, Commissioner Paul Rouleau found that the jurisdictional status quo in the National Capital Region is inefficient, and that the myriad of jurisdictions made the overall police response unnecessarily complicated at a time when local residents were clearly being disrupted for extended periods of time. In fact, the Commissioner expressly agrees with our submission that jurisdictional boundaries should be re-examined .
We are particularly pleased to see that Recommendation 24, regarding policing in the National Capital Region, proposes to study without delay whether changes should be made to the division of responsibilities for policing and security in the National Capital Region.
However, other notable recommendations contained in the Final Report also reflect our submissions, or otherwise reflect an increased role or authority for the RCMP, and these include:
Recommendation 3: Police and other law enforcement agencies, with affected governments, should develop protocols around requesting additional law enforcement resources where a police service is unable to respond on its own to major events;
Recommendations 7 + 8: The federal and provincial governments should create a process for compelling a municipal police service to accept integrated or unified command in response to a major event;
Recommendation 12: The federal government should consider the creation of a major event management unit or coordinator to address policing responses to national major events;
Recommendation 15: RCMP should consider leading an initiative, with other police agencies, for police services across the country to adopt a single command and control model;
Recommendation 20: The federal government and others should develop an expedited accreditation process for RCMP or interprovincial officers so that they may immediately enforce provincial legislation or municipal by-laws where applicable, and;
Recommendation 27: The federal government should develop guidelines with respect to government officials requesting information from police, and vice versa, including in the context of major events.
As a key stakeholder and Commission participant, the National Police Federation looks forward to participating in further consultations about the recommendations and their implementation.
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) represents ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally. It is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada and second largest in North America. We are focused on improving public safety in Canada for our Members and all Canadians by advocating for investment in policing and other related supports and services. This includes calling for required resourcing, equipment, and supports to enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations
Coordinator, Media Relations