February 18, 2022

RCMP commissioner breached duty with slow response to watchdog report, judge rules

OTTAWA —
A federal judge says RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki flouted the law by failing to respond promptly to a watchdog report about alleged spying on anti-oil protesters.

In a newly released decision, Federal Court Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagne says Lucki breached her duty under the RCMP Act by not submitting a response to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission’s interim report on the spying allegations “as soon as feasible.”

The ruling is a victory for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which argued there was a culture of complacency in the RCMP that has caused inexcusable foot-dragging on complaint files.

The complaints commission launched a public interest investigation and completed an interim report on the spying allegations in June 2017, forwarding it to the RCMP for comment on the conclusions and recommendations.

The watchdog cannot make final findings and recommendations on a complaint until the RCMP commissioner responds to an interim report and, as a result, the complainant and the public are left waiting for resolution of the matter.

Lucki responded to the report in November 2020, but only after the association launched its court action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2022.

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