Hon. Marty Klyne: Minister, as the former CEO of the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, I’m proud that the force is an iconic Canadian symbol around the world. At their best, Mounties serve us with the core values of honestly, integrity, professionalism, compassion, accountability and respect. It is a credit to Canada on the world stage that the RCMP will be supporting war crime investigations of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, Canadians are aware that deep cultural changes are required within the RCMP to consistently uphold core values, both internally and for all Canadians the force serves.
Minister, what cultural change is afoot within the force, and could you also update us on your support for First Nations policing?
Hon. Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Public Safety: Senator, thank you very much for the question. I will start by answering the last component of your question.
We are introducing transformative, new investments to both stabilize Indigenous policing for those communities that have access to it, but equally to expand Indigenous police services to those who are still in need of it. It is my sincere hope that we’re going to be able to move forward with legislation that will ensure that Indigenous policing is seen as an essential service, which it is, because Indigenous peoples, like all Canadians, have a right to be safe in their communities.
I will say that my mandate lays out very clearly a number of ways in which we hope to move forward, in conjunction with the RCMP, when it comes to transforming the police service. I am very encouraged by the conversations that I have had with the commissioner around making changes to our Management Advisory Board, which is an adjunct body that provides independent advice to the commissioner, by making additional changes around the way in which grievances are brought forward, particularly as it relates to those claims involving sexual harassment and violence within the service, to make sure that that process is independent and, lastly, to be sure that the RCMP is reflective of the diversity of our country.
In conclusion, I would say that I am very proud that the RCMP has deployed to the International Criminal Court to advance the investigation into war crimes in Ukraine.