Calgary, AB,

Message from the Calgary Police Commission

The Calgary Police Commission is becoming increasingly concerned that recent commentary is creating uncertainty about the role the Commission has played in overseeing the reforms stemming from the 2013 Calgary Police Service workplace review.

It is the Calgary Police Commission’s highest priority to oversee the reforms underway for CPS to create an inclusive workplace with fair opportunities that is free of intimidation and retaliation. We have a zero tolerance policy for workplace harassment. While we do not have a mandate to deal with individual personnel matters, we are able to provide policy oversight and examine whether any systemic issues exist.

The Calgary Police Commission is fully engaged in understanding the environment, the risks and the proposed solutions to this issue. At the committee and commission level, we are providing input and guidance and hold the Chief accountable for ensuring that CPS has appropriate policies and practices in place. We have communicated details to CPS membership about the steps we’re taking and some of the questions we’re asking.

Commissioners are engaged in substantial debate and asking difficult questions that challenge the Chief to articulate his plans, and provide the rationale and evidence supporting those plans.

At every step of the way over the past year, the Chief has invited frank, open dialogue with the Commission. The Commission has full confidence that Chief Chaffin is taking decisive action with the goal of making our city a safer place and CPS a stronger and more progressive police service.

In June, CPS provided an action plan at the Commission’s public meeting. A progress report on that action plan will be discussed at our meeting in November.

The key concern of the Commission is addressing the serious workplace issues which have been raised. A number of parties have raised concerns about certain Commissioners speaking out of turn in public regarding this issue. Only the Chair and, when delegated, the vice-chairs of the Commission speak officially on behalf of the Commission. The Commission does not believe that it is appropriate to debate these issues, or critique the members or leadership of the CPS, outside of the regular public meetings of the Commission, where we can appropriately direct our questions to the Chief and engage the CPS in a proactive and constructive dialogue so that we can work to achieve our common goal of a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace. The Commission regularly holds meetings which are open to the Public, with our next scheduled meeting on November 29, 2016.

The steps taken by the service to address these important concerns are only the start of what will be an ongoing examination and response to the community's concerns on this issue. We at the Commission look forward to providing our input and guidance to ensure we continue to have the best service in the country.

On behalf of the Calgary Police Commission,
Howie Shikaze, Chair
Lisa Silver, Vice-chair
Brian Thiessen, Vice-chair