RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki resigns

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki looks on Friday, July 1, 2022 during Canada Day celebrations at Lebreton Flats in Ottawa.  She announced on Wednesday February 15, 2023 that she will be retiring next month.  (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - photo credit)

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki looks on Friday, July 1, 2022 during Canada Day celebrations at Lebreton Flats in Ottawa. She announced on Wednesday February 15, 2023 that she will be retiring next month. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press – photo credit)

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has announced her resignation and will step down from the top post next month.

In a statement, Lucki said she made a “personal decision” to leave the post.

“This was not an easy decision as I love the RCMP and have loved being the 24th Commissioner. I am so incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to lead this historic organization and to witness first hand the tremendous work that is done every day by all employees from coast to coast and internationally,” she said.

Lucki, who was sworn in on April 16, 2018, said the national force has made “some great strides” in meeting the expectations of Canadians, communities and police partners.

Her last working day is March 17th.

It has been a challenging year for the outgoing commissioner, who has been dogged by allegations of political interference and mixed criticism of her performances before public inquiries and commissions.

It ended in 2022 with calls for his resignation from multiple sources, including conservative opposition figures and a provincial justice minister.

Lucki’s response to the federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergency Act in response to convoy protests has been attacked – and cited by Alberta Attorney General Tyler Shandro as the reason for her dismissal.

“She failed to inform the federal cabinet of all available law enforcement avenues prior to the decision to invoke the Emergency Act,” Shandro said in a November statement.

Lucki’s announcement comes just days ahead of Judge Paul Rouleau’s expected release of a report on the commission of inquiry into the application of the emergency law.

CLOCK | “She deserves to be thanked for her service,” says the justice minister

Lucki insisted she had “achieved a great deal” with the Senior Executive Team and RCMP staff, including modernizing the force and addressing internal challenges.

“I am so proud of the steps we have taken to modernize – to increase accountability, address systemic racism, ensure a safe and equitable workplace and advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples,” she said in the statement.

“I leave knowing that I have done my best and take comfort in the fact that the RCMP is well positioned to shine in its 150th year.”

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino thanked Lucki for her years of service.

“From training new recruits at the depot to being the first commissioner of the Mounties, she has dedicated her life to keeping Canadians safe,” he tweeted. “Commissioner Lucki has led the force for almost five years, navigating through the pandemic and beyond. I want to thank her for her partnership and dedication.”

Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Mendicino said the government will now begin appointing the next commissioner.

Conservative MP Glen Motz said he took classes with Lucki while he was in the police force.

“I think she… had good intentions and unfortunately was probably unduly torn about by public safety, by the Minister and by this government. And that’s unfortunate,” he said. “You know, I wish her well in retirement and thank her for her service.”

NDP public safety critic Peter Julian wished Lucki a happy retirement but said problems of systemic racism and lack of accountability were not adequately addressed during her tenure.

“We certainly hope that the federal government will ensure that the next commissioner deals with these issues and that the RCMP finally starts to find solutions to these problems,” he said.

CLOCK | NDP MP reacts to Lucki’s resignation

Brian Sauvé, head of the National Police Federation, said he enjoyed a “constructive and productive working relationship” with Lucki.

“Despite the various challenges and public scrutiny that come with leadership, Commissioner Lucki’s commitment to public safety, to the communities she has served throughout her career, and to promoting a modern and constructive approach to industrial relations… a testament to their dedication and professionalism,” Sauvé said in a media statement.

Lucki faced criticism in 2020 when she told certain media outlets she had “problems” defining the term when asked if there was systemic racism in the RCMP. She later said she believed systemic racism existed within the force.

When Lucki was appointed in 2018, she vowed to eliminate the power of a toxic work culture but warned it would take time. At the time, she said an unhealthy culture had been ingrained in the RCMP for decades, and changing attitudes for the better would take patience.

CLOCK | “I leave with the knowledge that I did my best,” says Lucki:

She took the helm after her predecessor, Bob Paulson, made a historic apology to female officers and civilian members as part of a settlement in two class-action lawsuits alleging harassment and sexual abuse.

In her statement, Lucki cites a website that outlines the key areas the RCMP is focusing its change and modernization efforts on:

  • Ensuring a safe and equitable workplace to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

  • Combating systemic racism affecting employees and various communities served by the RCMP.

  • Promoting reconciliation with indigenous peoples by building trust and respect and acknowledging past harms.

  • Supporting modern policing with evolving tools, techniques and technologies.

  • improving employee accountability, transparency and behavior; ensure that the consequences are “meaningful and rehabilitative”.


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