Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP, better known as the McDonald Commission, was a Royal Commission called by the Canadian government of Pierre Trudeau to investigate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a number of illegal activities by the RCMP Security Service came to light in the 1970s. The Commission, Judge David Cargill McDonald, was established on 6 July 1977 and issued its final report in 1981.


The McDonald Commission examined a number of allegations made against the RCMP, including its theft of the membership list of the Parti Québécois, several break-ins; illegal opening of mail; burning a barn in Quebec[1] where the Black Panther Party and Front de libération du Québec were rumoured to be planning a rendezvous; forging documents; and conducting illegal electronic surveillance.


The Commission produced three reports:

  • First Report: Security and Information (26 November 1979)
  • Second Report: Freedom and Security under the Law, 2 volumes (23 January 1981)
  • Third Report: Certain R.C.M.P. Activities and the Question of Governmental Knowledge (15 May 1981)

A supplement to the third report was also published on 30 January 1984.


The Commission's reports recommended that police be required to obey the law and that judicial authorization be required before police could open mail. Its principal recommendation was to remove responsibility for national security from the RCMP and assign it to a new civilian spy agency. This recommendation was followed with the establishment of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in 1984.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SIRC (2005). Reflections, Security Intelligence Review Committee, 2005, p. 7


External links[edit]