Leadership vacuum within RCMP starts in Ottawa 0
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (left) addresses a press conference in June on Parliament Hill in Ottawa as RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson looks on. (FILE PHOTO)
A couple of weeks ago, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson wrote the now-infamous email response to Staff Sgt. Tim Chad of the Ridge Meadows Detachment that was insulting, harassing and downright demeaning to a long-serving member of the Force.
Paulson hasn't said a word publicly since the email exchange was made public. He hasn't apologized or otherwise engaged Chad, or, for that matter, anyone else in the RCMP by way of an apology or in some form of explanation. Nothing has been forthcoming, despite the email sent by Cst. Peter Kennedy chastising the top cop on the heels of the initial emails.
I'm also told another senior member, a Service Regimental Representative, has emailed the commissioner demanding an apology to Chad.
It will not be forthcoming. That isn't Paulson's style. He seems to act as the very epitome of the type of conduct he has been instructed by the Public Safety Minister to eradicate from the RCMP. He pushes people around to get his way according to RCMP officers I have spoken with since the email exchange became public.
Several individuals who worked directly for Paulson on the badly fumbled Hells Angel project called "ePandora" have all told me the same version of events.
It's ironic, really, to think that he chastises Chad for not getting the message he is preaching and in the same breath ignores his own preaching.
Thus far, Chad hasn't commented publicly, nor has he begun any internal complaint process against the commissioner as is certainly his right under the RCMP Act. The problem with the Act is that it makes the commissioner the final arbiter in any grievance process.
So how does one complain about being wronged by the very person who sits in judgment of the merits of the complaint? Especially while being aware of the final words, themselves a thinly veiled threat by a senior officer to a subordinate: "You have done yourself a disservice."
And where is the minister in all of this? Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has been challenged to deal with the out-of-step culture in the RCMP since Cpl. Catherine Galliford first came forward with her complaints and subsequent lawsuit that has garnered so much publicity.
Toews gave the ball to Paulson who has since shown that he isn't the solution, but instead part of the problem. And thus far, Toews has stood mute.
Clearly, there is a vacuum of leadership in the RCMP and with continued silence, it would seem in the government as well.