I have heard that many current regular and civilian members of the RCMP, and current Public Service employees, are concerned that if they submit a claim to me, under the Merlo Davidson Settlement Agreement Assessment process, I will launch an investigation into the incidents described in the claim. They are concerned that such an investigation will result in a breach of confidentiality and that they will be identified as claimants.
While the Settlement Agreement allows me to request information, if necessary, to properly assess a claim, I will not do so without informing the claimant and giving her the opportunity to provide me with the missing information, or choose to have me evaluate her claim without the information. I will also not contact individuals named in a claim as perpetrators or identified as witnesses.
If, after consulting with the claimant, I make a request for information to the RCMP, the Settlement Agreement sets out a process that is designed to protect the claimant’s confidentiality.
Rest assured that my mandate under the Settlement Agreement is not investigative nor is the Assessment process adversarial. I will evaluate claims on the information I receive from the claimant, which may include an interview, where warranted. I will evaluate claims in accordance with the Claims Process agreed to by the parties to the Settlement Agreement.
Confidentiality, privacy, and protection of the claimant are essential to the success of the claims process. These principles were, and remain, at the forefront of my mind in the design and implementation of the Assessment process.
Michel Bastarache, Independent Assessor