12/01/2014 12:55 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST

RCMP Accountability Lauded Amid Fight To Contain Watchdog's Report


Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is applauding increased accountability for the RCMP one day before a federal watchdog is to release a report the Mounties fought to keep from being made public.

Blaney and RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson held a press conference Monday to announce the new RCMP accountability act, which got parliamentary approval in June, 2013, is now in force.

Blaney said the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act "ushers in significant changes to further modernize and transform our national police force."

The press conference comes one day before a report into the RCMP's conduct is to be tabled in Parliament.

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion says he'll table on Tuesday a report about "findings of wrongdoing" following an investigation into the Ottawa air section of the RCMP.

It seems the report could be significant: the government went to Federal Court to try to prevent Dion from tabling the report. The court dismissed the injunction motion.

Report delayed

The report was supposed to be tabled the week of Nov. 17, but was delayed by the court proceedings. 

Paulson told reporters Monday that he couldn't comment on the case, but said the RCMP would respect the court's decision.

Blaney said the RCMP already has two organizations to supervise the Mounties' actions, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP and the RCMP External Review Committee.

The new accountability act, a press release from Public Safety says, updates the RCMP's human resources management. It also:

- Makes members subject to the code of conduct both on and off-duty, in or outside of Canada.

- allows misconduct to be addressed faster and at the lowest appropriate level.

- places greater focus on remedial, corrective and educative solutions rather than punishment.

- specifically name harrassmentas a contravention.