RCMP: A Request for Commission of Inquiry
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Subject: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Affairs of the RCMP
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 12:33:46 -0500
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Request: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Affairs of RCMP:
Allegation: RCMP Smear Campaign to Overthrow a Previous Prime Minister et al
I am RCMP Staff Sergeant Mel Young. I am presently on medical leave from my position as Chief Reviewer, Border Integrity, Criminal Operations “O” Division (Ontario). I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from the cumulative effects of years of workplace harassment, threats and other retaliatory abuses by certain RCMP commissioned officers after reporting multiple counts of wrongdoing in the RCMP. It is with profound sadness that I contact you directly but recent events occurring in the RCMP and my perception that the Minister of Public Safety blundered in handling a serious complaint regarding the behaviour of the Commissioner have clearly demonstrated that the RCMP is not yet capable of restoring the historical leadership values demanded of an organization commissioned by Her Majesty The Queen in her role as Commissioner-in-Chief over the RCMP.
I firmly believe that the contents of this e-mail supported by my documentation in the control of the Minister of Justice (Department Of Justice/RCMP) and dozens of cases similar to mine across the country will provide you with ample grounds to support the recommendation for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the RCMP. A major crisis of leadership is occurring inside the ranks of the RCMP as harassment cases continue to arise. The position of RCMP Commissioner is anchored with deep rooted tradition and entrusted to promote justice, tolerance and equality-free from degradation.
One of the final catalysts igniting my plea to you directly stems from the egregious mocking gesture by our Commissioner. Last spring, when referring to RCMP members like me suffering from the daily struggles with PTSD, Commissioner Bob Paulson, while attending a town hall session, performed the profoundly offensive cuckoo sign when he raised his finger to his head, twirled it around and whistled. This mocking behaviour would not even be tolerated on the playgrounds of an elementary school. Words cannot fully describe the pain I suffered the day I learned that the Commissioner of Canada’s national police force used that mocking gesture to poke fun at people like me suffering from PTSD. Only after an audio clip of the egregious act was posted on an internet site did the Commissioner send a “written apology” to all RCMP employees. However, upon close examination of the apology, it is remarkably evident that he did not actually apologize for the cuckoo sign- instead he apologized for our misinterpretation of the act as meaning he did not care about members with PTSD. He stated that nothing could be further from the truth. That, I offer, added insult to injury. Blaming us for misinterpreting his gesture is profoundly despicable. The cuckoo sign is universally known as a blatant attack on a person’s mental condition and not easily misinterpreted. I sent a formal complaint to the Minister of Public Safety outlining this egregious act coupled with other egregious events surrounding this matter. I am not aware of any commissioned officer in the RCMP who spoke out against the Commissioner.
On January 6th, 2014 an article stated Commissioner Bob Paulson was allegedly accused of being involved in a smear campaign against Dr. Michael Webster,an RCMP designated physician in British Columbia. It was reported in ipolitics (Jan 6th)(Annie Bergeron-Oliver-reporter) that he was quoted as stating that Dr. Webster had gone “nuts'” . These were his stated words according to an internal e-mail obtained by the Mounted Police Professional Association (MPPA). If the e-mails are accurate as described, this Commissioner must be forced to step aside until a though investigation is conducted. We cannot have a Commissioner twirling his finger at his head and whistling when referencing members with PTSD. Nor can we have a Commissioner referring to anyone as being “nuts.” The regulations with respect to the implementation of Bill C-42 will be finalized in the coming months giving the RCMP Commissioner and other senior RCMP officers unprecedented powers to discipline and dismiss those employees who are perceived as “bad apples.” I offer that whistle blowers who form the foundation of conscience in the RCMP will be identified as such and be left without protection from their aggressors.
Unlike our RCMP Commissioner, the leaders of our Canadian Armed Forces are not poking fun at their soldiers suffering from PTSD. They are not twirling their fingers at their heads and whistling. Why is it being tolerated in the senior ranks of the RCMP? Why is the RCMP Commissioner allowed to publicly attack the motivations of certain members who offer testimony or describe their horrific incidents? Whether accurate or not, the Commissioner has no right to publicly attack those members who describe their experiences in the RCMP. An egregious failure of accountability exists in the RCMP.
The Office of the Minister of Public Safety absconded from its leadership responsibilities by choosing to refer my complaint to an Inspector- five rank levels below the Commissioner. Given that the Minister of Public Safety chose not to respond to my complaint directly, I do not know which Minister made the decision. The Honourable Vic Toews retired a week after I submitted my complaint to him. The Honourable Steven Blaney assumed the role shortly thereafter.
I was advised by RCMP Insp. (now Supt.) Harvey Seddon that the Minister of Public Safety sent my complaint to him as he felt the complaint was in keeping with the chain of command as a serving member. Supt. Seddon stated that he thought the Commissioner’s apology was sincere and that he would not be ordering a Code of Conduct on Commissioner Paulson. I maintain that profound procedural blunders were made by the Office of Minister of Public Safety and Supt. Seddon. I believe the Minister of Public Safety has clearly failed me and all other victims of PTSD. I am not aware of any employment hierarchy in Canada where a subordinate employee has the authority to conduct an investigation on his/her employer. The Commissioner of the RCMP reports to the Minister of Public Safety on the basis that Her Majesty The Queen has chosen not to exercise her operational authority over the RCMP. Instead, she allowed our law makers to possess operational control though she has never relinquished her role as Commissioner-in-Chief. The Minister of Public Safety was wrong to send a complaint against the RCMP Commissioner to a subordinate employee of the Commissioner.
It can reasonably be inferred that an entire group of RCMP employees suffering from PTSD was re-victimized by the Commissioner’s mocking gesture. An apology is a mitigating factor considered at the end of the investigation. If the RCMP Act and the Code of Conduct are to applied universally, an independent investigation should have been ordered. Constables are not granted the privilege of issuing an apology as a substitute for accountability under the RCMP Act-nor should Commissioner Paulson. Anyone who believes that an apology is sufficient lacks an understanding of the painful daily struggles with PTSD. RCMP members are obligated to report breaches of the RCMP Act regardless of rank. I have always maintained that turning a blind eye to injustice enables injustice to flourish. We are peace officers first and entrusted to uphold the law. We must, in all cases, stand up for those who are victimized by others.
Standing up to an abusive commissioned officer in the RCMP can bring a world of hurt to those who dare come forward. I am one example of many. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and I struggle each and every day after reporting gross misconduct in the RCMP. I have been harassed, intimidated, and overtly threatened by senior commissioned officers. A former Prime Minister may have been the target of subversion by a smear campaign organized by member(s) of the RCMP. At the time of disclosure, I was told that the RCMP (CFSEU) has an investigative and political side and as an investigator, I had to learn how to harness that power. We will never know the intimate details of the alleged smear campaign against the prime Minister given the serious blunders made by the RCMP. What I do know for certain is that the RCMP took extraordinary steps to silence me on that-and many other complaints. The emotional abuse runs deep and over a lengthy period of time. A highly respected RCMP member summed it up best when he expressed that he believed that the RCMP had me on a “slow burn” hoping that I will eventually give up my pursuit of justice.
I joined the RCMP in 1990. After my first six years of RCMP detachment policing in Newfoundland, I transferred to Ontario in a Federal policing environment. While working with an RCMP unit, several co-workers disclosed that they were being harassed by a supervisor. Though I was the most junior member on the team, I spoke out on their behalf and in doing so, instantly became the target of the major forms of aggression resulting in me seeking protection at the provincial court via peace bond under s.810 cc. I was accompanied by a supervisor who provided testimony that I have reason to fear for my person safety.
During this intense ordeal the following contents of a letter was placed found in my internal RCMP mail slot in an RCMP Federal Government envelope. It stated:
“You appear to be a knowledgeable individual. I think that you should take advantage of that knowledge and stop the action you are taking. You have caused sufficient aggravation for several people. We cannot guarantee that future responses to your continuing actions will be as pleasant as this memo. I am confident that you realize that for every action there is an equal reaction and sometimes a stronger reaction! Enjoy your career!”
The following response by the Officer in Charge would shock the conscience of Canadians. After refusing to back-down from complaining about the bullying behaviour, I was ordered by the RCMP to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The order was based on three written criteria:
that I attempted to seek court action;
that I disobeyed him (by going to court);
and that I feared for my safety.
It was at this time I realized that, despite the many leaders who perform their jobs admirably, a venomous vein exists in the senior management in the RCMP.
Despite knowing that my rights as guaranteed under the Charter were being grossly violated, I obediently complied with the formal order. The RCMP designated physician who performed the evaluation stated the following in his report:
“Cst. Young appears to be a highly principled man. He wants to get along with everybody and do his job. He has a strong need to “do the right thing” no matter what the personal cost or inconvenience. He is the kind of person who when seeing something wrong feels responsible to take action, the very thing he was hired to do as a police officer.”
I was profoundly saddened that the RCMP would take such punitive actions to silence me. Despite the conclusions of the psychiatric evaluation and despite formally complaining about this retaliatory behaviour, I felt defeated and in that sense, the RCMP accomplished its goal. I would soon, after threats were made and under profound duress, sign a document withdrawing my complaints. In exchange, the RCMP agreed not take any retaliatory measures. A letter was issued apologizing for the RCMP’s response to my complaint. My solace would be short-lived. The retaliation did not abate.
While working with the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), I attempted to intervene in a situation where a fellow member was being severely harassed by a supervisor. That NCO snapped at me and stated that the other investigator was the source of the problem. He exclaimed, “You better understand that!” He expressed that I had a character flaw by being too nice and accessible to other RCMP members. He noted that my constant need to protect the rights of criminals and other RCMP members demonstrated this weakness. He stated, “The only thing that mattered at the end of the day was that the bad guys were in jail and it did not matter how we got them there.”
One of my many disclosures included an allegation that I was threatened by a senior commissioned officer to drop my complaint that member(s) of the RCMP may have engaged in the criminal offence of subversion by using RCMP coded informants to conduct a smear campaign on our Prime Minister at the time. That RCMP officer advanced to the rank of Assistant Commissioner prior to retiring. He assumed a leadership position with a provincial police force. That complaint and many others were historically reported to the RCMP. I also disclosed this event (and many others) to investigators with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP during the Commission’s Public Interest Investigation on RCMP Harassment. I remain profoundly baffled that this criminal allegation (and the harassment directed at me for its disclosure) did not materialize in the Commission’s final public report. I am aware that many documented incidents of harassment have been excluded from the final report for reasons unknown.
The threat by the commissioned officer was bold. He actually provided the wording for me to send to the Commissioner of the RCMP as follows:
” After careful consideration of the events of my complaint, I have chosen to retract my complaint at this time.”
I refused to send the Commissioner an e-mail withdrawing my complaint regarding the Prime Minister. Instead, I sent the offending commissioned officer a direct e-mail as follows:
“This e-mail is my official notification to you concerning our meeting prior to your departure. I believe that the events of this meeting constitute threats, intimidation and harassment. After careful reflection, I am not able to draft a few lines you wanted me to send to the Commissioner to retract my complaint concerning the matter involving Prime Minister xx” (Prime Minister’s name is stated in the original e-mail and copy in possession of the RCMP and Department of Justice)
In bizarre fashion, the Commanding Officer at the time alerted him to my complaint (correspondence in my possession) prior to an internal investigation being ordered. Equally disturbing, a senior officer who also advanced to rank of Assistant Commissioner named in my original complaint regarding the Prime Minister was also the officer appointed to rule on one of the included complaints. I received official correspondence (also in my possession) that Interview tapes were “accidentally” erased during transcribing, which at a minimum, was grossly incompetent.
The RCMP should not have the authority to investigate itself on an allegation that specifically relates to RCMP members being engaged in an act of subversion against its Prime Minister or other elected official where organizational culpability exist (or perceived). Reality has shown that significant investigative and procedural blunders were made and overt retaliatory acts were committed to silence me.
The above complaint was pursued with other egregious complaints in an omnibus complaint. Once again, the struggle with the RCMP complaint process was profoundly onerous and took an incredible emotional toll on me. I was again beat-down and threatened with dismissal. All punitive responses to my complaints were specifically disclosed to the RCMP. The emotional cost was too high for me and my family. The RCMP was relentless in their attempt to silence me and I was not able to cope with the daily emotional struggles. I was drowning in rataliation and in hopes of surfacing for air , I eventually, under profound duress, signed a document with the Commanding Officer withdrawing all of my complaints with the exception of the complaint regarding the Prime Minister. I agreed to unequivocally accept the decision of the Commanding Officer in regards to the investigation of the Prime Minister matter. I forfeited any ability to appeal or complaint about his decision. (The full details were supplied to the RCMP with correspondence)
The above are merely a few reported examples (of many reported) in a long abusive history of threats and demeaning acts of aggression I suffered at the hands of RCMP officers- because I came forward to report wrongdoing. I refused to remain silent but it came at a significant personal cost. If the RCMP is able to beat down RCMP members like me, what possibilities exist for the general public?
A few years ago, I was invited to participate in a process under the direction of RCMP Supt. Bob Boulet, the OIC Employee/Management Relations (EMRO). He explained that the RCMP developed a program to resolve matters like mine which pose a significant risk to the RCMP. He advised my wife and me that the RCMP recognized that historical harmful behaviour was committed by some senior managers/employees and that the RCMP is prepared to make financial amends after a risk assessment (fact checks) knowing that I would not be able to serve my entire 35 years before pension. He also stated that he would assist me in finding another job in the federal Government. I was invited to submit all of my complaints in the form of a demand letter which would be reviewed by his office prior to submission to the Department of Justice for consideration. After submitting my documentation, the officer in Charge remarked to the Staff Relations Representative that he was impressed with my truthfulness and professionalism. I have not received any concluding communication from the Department of Justice or RCMP since that time. This again, was a colossal failure especially given that I was invited to participate in this process. I do not have a statement-of-claim filed or pending in any court. I understand that the EMRO was dismantled and absorbed into the divisions.
The parameters of e-mail prevent me from providing you with the complete documentation in the possession of the RCMP and Department of Justice. I am confident that your colleagues in the PMO will request a consultation with the Minister of Justice and Minister of Public Safety to obtain the required documentation to allow you to make an informed decision. I suggest you not only examine the report from the RCMP Employee/Management Relations Office to the DOJ but also focus on reviewing my original submission to the EMRO including appendices and responses to e-mail questions sent to me by EMRO.
It is noteworthy that I offered (not accepted) a previous Commissioner my participation in a polygraph examination to confirm by credibility. The RCMP has an incredibly competent polygraph forensic interview team. It should also be noted that despite the severity of my allegations against specific RCMP members, I have not been the subject of any complaint by those members whom I accused of profound wrongdoing. I alleged that specific RCMP members may have engaged in a smear campaign to overthrow an elected Prime Minister-one of the most serious criminal acts that a national police force could ever commit against its elected government. Yet, is it not profoundly telling that those RCMP members I alleged as being involved, at no time, formally complained about the credibility of my submissions?
I believe the RCMP has engaged in systemic acts of harassment against me and other members for identifying wrongdoing in the RCMP workplace- acts which would shock the conscience of Canadians- acts which are so profound that they require a Royal Commission of Inquiry. I offer you an opportunity as my Prime Minister to take meaningful steps to advance this matter to the Governor General for Canada after a review of my documentation in possession of the RCMP and Department of Justice. It is imperative that the Royal Commission focus on a thorough examination of the facts related to the RCMP investigation of the smear campaign against our Prime Minister at the time. Significant mistakes were made which are troublesome.
The Canadian people deserve answers. They have a right to know whether their national police force made attempts to overthrow their elected leader through a smear campaign. They need to know that an RCMP member stood up on the side of justice and attempted to obtain answers while being threatened by his RCMP leaders. They need to know that the provisions of Bill C-42 will not be used by senior RCMP leaders to silence its whistle blowers preventing allegations like mine from surfacing.
I also request that you take immediate steps to ensure that the RCMP is prevented from taking any further retaliatory actions. I have endured insurmountable abuse. I did not join the RCMP to be a punching bag for my RCMP leaders. I have provided instructions that should any retaliatory actions occur from the RCMP, a copy of all documentation will be filed for safe keeping with a justice in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada to ensure that an accurate historical record of all the events is safely maintained should conditions be favourable for review in the future.
I am open to meeting with you (without prejudice) or your designate.
S/Sgt. Mel Young
From → Annie Bergeron-Oliver, Bill C-42, Commissioner, Commissioner Paulson Apology, Commissioner-in-Chief, Dr. Mike Webster, Grievances and complaints, Harassment, Her Majesty The Queen, Human Resources, Leadership, Management, Mental Health Issues, Minister of Public Safety, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, MPPAC, ODS, Other, PTSD, RCMP, Royal Commission of Inquiry, Smear Campaign