Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Brenda Lucki will be retiring from her role leading Canada’s national police force next month. In a statement on Feb. 15, Lucki said she had “made a personal decision to retire.” Lucki was approaching the end of her five-year term, which began on April 16, 2018. She was the organization’s 24th commissioner and the first permanent female commissioner. Her last day will be March 17.
“This was not an easy decision as I love the RCMP,” she said. “I leave knowing I did my best and take comfort that the RCMP is well placed to shine in its 150th year.” Lucki also stated that she was proud of the steps taken to modernize the organization, including increasing accountability, addressing systemic racism, ensuring a safe and equitable workplace, and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Lucki took leadership of the organization after long-standing concerns of bullying and harassment had been alleged within the force. Her statement indicated she was asked to modernize and address the RCMP’s internal challenges, which she called a “significant mandate.”
Criticism of Lucki included calls for her resignation in June 2022, after allegations of political interference in the police investigation of the Nova Scotia shooting. RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell’s notes suggested that he was pressured by Lucki to reveal the types of firearms involved in the shooting. Lucki denied the allegations and stated that she would never take actions or decisions that could jeopardize an investigation. Audio of a call between Lucki and RCMP officials in Nova Scotia was later released, in which the release of information related to the shooting in April 2020 was discussed.
On Nov. 23, Alberta’s Justice Minister Tyler Shandro called for the federal government to fire Lucki. Shandro listed areas he deemed Lucki as having failed in, such as dealing with the RCMP’s history of systemic racism in a forthright and public manner, risking the integrity of the investigation into the Nova Scotia mass shooting, and not informing the federal government of all law enforcement options available prior to the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. Lucki also testified at the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) on Nov. 15 that RCMP officers had the legal means to clear protesters in Ottawa as part of the Freedom Convoy without the use of the Emergencies Act, but said she did not communicate that information to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before the act was invoked.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino thanked Lucki for her years of service. Mendicino said the government will begin the process of appointing the next commissioner of the RCMP and will be “searching for an exceptional new leader who will keep our communities safe while advancing the reforms necessary to maintain the confidence of all Canadians.”
Noé Chartier and The Canadian Press contributed to this report.