Carleton University criminologist makes formal complaint to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
The Toronto Star
By Mon., June 26, 2017
OTTAWA—RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson is making “patronage appointments” and handing out “cashable leave” in moves that amount to favouring his friends as he goes out the door, a Carleton University criminologist alleges in a formal complaint to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.Prof. Darryl Davies on Thursday wrote Goodale a letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Star, in which he slams the top Mountie for making inappropriate promotions in the final weeks before Paulson’s June 30 retirement.Davies is demanding that Goodale freeze all senior management promotions, roll back “largesse” offered in the form of two weeks of “cashable leave” to chief superintendents and appoint an interim commissioner from outside the force.Goodale’s office acknowledged receipt of Davies’ complaint, but declined immediate comment. The RCMP had no immediate response to the Star’s request for confirmation or an explanation of the moves. Paulson, however, defended his actions.“They are not patronage appointments,” he said, pointing to the individuals’ qualifications, the support of his senior executive committee for them and his legal authority to appoint under the RCMP Act.
Paulson said that with these appointments, the ratio of females to males on the RCMP’s senior executive committee changes from 28.6 per cent to 42.9 per cent.At the heart of Davies’ complaints are two significant promotions.Davies says Paulson named his chief of staff, Lisa-Marie Inman, to the RCMP’s senior communications job — she was named executive director, public affairs —and blasts Paulson’s appointment of Guylaine Dansereau, the wife of the senior RCMP deputy soon to replace Paulson, to the position of professional responsibility officer. That office oversees complaints about unethical or harassing behaviour in the RCMP.
In an interview with the Star, Davies said the appointments are clearly “patronage” and “nepotism.”
His letter says Dansereau is the wife of Deputy Commissioner Dan Dubeau, the RCMP’s chief human resources officer who will become interim commissioner replacing Paulson at the end of the week.
“This is no time for the outgoing commissioner to be handing out rewards to a management team that have proven grossly ineffectual in addressing the issues that the force is currently facing,” Davies wrote.
“To allow this to occur is not only an insult to the rank and file it is also an insult to all Canadians who have the right to expect that the current management of the RCMP will be completely overhauled. If this does not occur the same problems that have plagued the RCMP under Bob Paulson will continue to operate to the detriment of the RCMP.”
Paulson, in an email reply to the Star, confirmed the appointments, and said “recruitment, retention and succession planning are key priorities of the RCMP. Human resource planning decisions are regularly made by the Senior Executive Committee.” He cited his authority under the RCMP Act to make the appointments and said the women’s promotions are “in the organization’s interest.”
He said Dubeau was excluded from his senior executive committee’s discussion of Dansereau’s appointment because “we have ethics.”
Davies said it is a clear example of “nepotism.”
“Appointing without a competition? What else would you call it?” he said in an interview. “Those kinds of appointments do untold damage to the morale of an organization.”
Davies acknowledges in his letter that Paulson has the executive authority and discretion to make the appointments. They are civilian employees, not commissioned officers whose promotions are approved by cabinet.
Davies says he wrote to Goodale because “the buck stops” with the minister when it comes to the RCMP.
Paulson announced Dansereau’s appointment in a May 24 internal RCMP broadcast, noting she had worked for the RCMP for more than 20 years, most recently as director general of the Canadian Firearms Program.
Paulson touted her work experience in the RCMP, saying she has held “several senior executives (sic) positions and has worked in Forensic Science and Identification Services, Technical Security Operations, Atlantic Region Management, Human Resources, Internal Affairs, National Grievance and Discipline Advisory Board as well as the Director General of Executive/Officer Development and Resourcing.”
Paulson said before joining the RCMP, Dansereau worked “in the field of labour relations” including at the RCMP External Review Committee — which dealt with disciplinary grievances — and in the department of employment and social development.
In his letter, Davies says he is not questioning the appointee’s qualifications. “Rather, does it make sense that given Paulson’s track record that he is allowed to make such appointments? Surely the decision with respect to appointments must be the task of the next commissioner.”
Dansereau’s appointment has sparked concern in the ranks, say representatives involved in separate union drives, because of her relationship with Dubeau, soon to be the interim chief.
(The federal Liberal government has just begun the search for Paulson’s replacement even though he announced his resignation back in March. It is expecting to conclude that search at the end of the year.)
Brian Sauvé, co-founder of the National Police Federation which has applied to become the certified bargaining agent for the Mounties, said in an interview he agrees with Davies that there is potential for a conflict with Dansereau and Dubeau holding the two positions key to the human resources management of the force.
“We do share the concerns and we’re in the process of making a formal complaint to the ethics commissioner about the force and the government of Canada because as was seen in the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission reports which shone a light on nepotism in the senior ranks of the organization, the organization clearly didn’t heed those recommendations.”
Const. Louis (L.P.) Theriault, president of the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, which says it represents 5,000 members, said in an interview “there are so many controversies with the RCMP management now, it’s not the time to do those changes and promote your friends.”
For Paulson to put “likeminded people in charge” will only ensure the same problems continue, Theriault said. “We need a complete 180 on the way things are going in the RCMP.”
The appointment of women to senior positions would ordinarily be a good thing for a force that’s struggled with widespread complaints about gender and sexual harassment.
But Theriault said, “We don’t need necessarily a woman, we need someone who knows what they’re doing, whether they’re a man, a woman, someone who’s going to be respectful.”
Davies’ letter also challenged what he said is Paulson’s offer to chief superintendents of two weeks’ leave that they can cash out, in lieu of bonuses that are unavailable to them. “What message does this send to the RCMP rank and file who have been without significant pay increases for many years and who are the ones carrying out the work in Canadian communities? The excessive overtime RCMP members have to work to compensate for the lack of resources has pushed many of them to the breaking point,” Davies wrote.
Paulson confirmed that “under commissioner’s authority all chief superintendents have been proactively granted two weeks of management leave to temporarily address” pay issues he said were created by the most recent Treasury Board contract. “Notably the leave is not cashable but annual leave is.”
Davies previously worked in the federal public service, including in the departments of Public Safety and Justice, he said, and his current research work as a criminology professor at Carleton University has focused on policing and the RCMP. He and Paulson have recently clashed in the course of a Moncton, N.B., labour code trial over whether Mounties should have been equipped with carbines. Davies says that has nothing to do with his concerns.