Admission to the OSCE: 25 June 1973
Policing overview: Canada has three levels of police services: municipal, provincial, and federal. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, is unique in the world as a combined international, federal, provincial and municipal policing body.
1. General information
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Public Safety Portfolio (to view an organization chart of the Ministry, please view the document in the Attachments section). Currently the RCMP delivers: law enforcement and investigative services in relation to federal statutes; criminal intelligence, technology and support services for the broader police community; international policing duties as required; and, contract policing service in eight provinces (except Ontario and Québec) and three territories, approximately 200 municipalities and 600 Aboriginal communities.
2. Functions and missions
Throughout Canada, the RCMP enforces laws made under the authority of the Canadian Parliament. Administration of justice within the provinces, including enforcement of the Criminal Code, is part of the power and duty delegated to the provincial governments. The RCMP provides police services under the terms of policing agreements to all provinces (except Ontario, Quebec); Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and, under separate municipal policing agreements, to 197 municipalities.
3. Structure and organization
The RCMP is currently divided into 4 regions (Atlantic, Central, Northwest, Pacific), 15 Divisions (one for each province and territory, the Training Academy in Regina and the National Capital Region), and is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario.Divisions roughly approximate provincial boundaries with their headquarters located in respective provincial or territorial capitals.
4. Staff data
The RCMP has a diverse workforce of over 25,000 people spread across the country. The workforce is composed of three categories of employees: regular members (more than 17,000), civilian members (approximately 3,000) and public service employees (over 5,000).
5. Education / Training
The Canadian Police College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is a centre for professional learning for members of the Canadian and international policing community. For more information, please follow the link to its official website in the Links section below.
Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness - Canada [English] (59.66 Kb)
Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness - Canada [English] (Format: PDF) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=13&attach_id=187
Organization chart of the Ministry
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides contract policing service in eight provinces (Ontario and Québec are the exception) and three territories, approximately 200 municipalities and 600 Aboriginal communities. Newfoundland has its own provincial police force, but the RCMP provides contract policing in many communities. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have their own police forces:
Sûreté du Québec - Canada [French] (79.05 Kb)
Sûreté du Québec - Canada [French] (Format: ) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=13&attach_id=136
Organization chart of the Quebec provincial police
Smaller Canadian cities often contract police service from the RCMP, while larger cities maintain their own force. A partial directory of municipal police forces can be found on the official website of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (please follow the link in the Links section below).
1. General information
There are basically four levels of court in Canada. First there are provincial/territorial courts, which handle the great majority of cases that come into the system. Second are the provincial/territorial superior courts. These courts deal with more serious crimes and also take appeals from provincial/territorial court judgments. On the same level, but responsible for different issues, is the Federal Court. At the next level are the provincial/territorial courts of appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal, while the highest level is occupied by the Supreme Court of Canada.
If an accused is arrested by the police, certain procedures must be followed to protect his or her rights. When the police arrest or detain an individual, they must tell the person that he or she has the right to consult a lawyer without delay and explain the reasons for the arrest and the specific charge if one is being made.
Anyone arrested and held in custody has the right to appear before a justice of the peace or judge as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours unless released sooner by the police) to have pre-trial release or bail determined. Bail hearings are sometimes referred to as “show-case (should say show-cause)” hearings because the prosecutor usually must show why the accused should remain in custody. However, in certain situations the burden is on the accused to show why he or she should be released. If a judge decides on release, the accused may be released with or without conditions. Release on bail will only be refused if there are very strong reasons for doing so.
Last Updated: 16 November 2007