William J. S. Elliott
|Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police|
July 16, 2007 – November 20, 2011
|Preceded by||Beverley Busson|
|Succeeded by||Bob Paulson|
|Alma mater||University of Ottawa|
|Occupation||Lawyer, Civil Servant|
William John Shannon Elliott, COM, QC, known commonly as Bill Elliott, is a career civil servant with the Government of Canada and served as the first civilian Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from July 16, 2007 to November 20, 2011. Served as the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations, as well as the Special Adviser to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness until his retirement in 2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Honours
- 4 Notes and references
Elliott received a Bachelor of Arts in 1976 and a Bachelor’s degree in Common Law in 1979, both from the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1981 and remains a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada as a non-practicing lawyer.
Elliott started his professional career in 1981 as a lawyer in a private law practice. In 1988, he left private practice to join the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada’s office as a Legal Advisor and Special Assistant and then Executive Assistant in 1989. In 1990, Elliott was promoted to Chief of Staff to Deputy Prime Minister Don Mazankowski in the Mulroney government, a position he held until 1992.
Department of Justice, Canada
In 1992, Elliott joined the Public Service of Canada as Senior Counsel/Manager, Comprehensive Claims and Northern Affairs for the Department of Justice and was based at the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Legal Services Unit. In 1994, he was promoted to Senior General Counsel and Head of Legal Services, Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
Canadian Coast Guard
In 1998, Elliott was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and held the authority of an Assistant Deputy Minister.
From 2000 to 2003, Elliott was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security, at Transport Canada. The Safety and Security Branch of Transport Canada is responsible for the development and enforcement of regulations and national standards, as well as for the implementation of monitoring, testing, and inspections, which contribute to safety and security in the aviation, marine, rail and road modes of transport.
Her Majesty’s Privy Council Office for Canada
The secretariat provides support and secretariat services to the Cabinet Committee for Foreign Affairs and Security (formerly the Cabinet Committee on Security, Public Health and Emergencies), in addition to the Advisory Council on National Security who provides confidential expert advice to the Government through the National Security Advisor on issues related to national security.
In his role, Elliott supported the National Security Advisor and as Assistant Secretary, was responsible for the support and secretariat services provided to Cabinet Committees and Ministers of the Crown.
Public Safety Canada
On May 1, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Elliott the Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, alongside Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Suzanne Hurtubise. In his role, Elliott assumed responsibility for several key branches within the Department, including the Policing, Law Enforcement and Interoperability Branch; and, the Emergency Management and National Security Branch.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Elliott was announced as the 22nd Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on 6 July 2007, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, making him the first commissioner that had not previously served in the police or military. He formally assumed command on July 16, 2007.
His appointment came after the resignation of Giuliano Zaccardelli, who left the force rocked by scandal and in crisis. Reaction to Elliott's appointment was mixed. Public perceptions are that the force's problems are rooted in its institutional culture and many felt that someone from outside the Canadian policing milieu and "free of loyalties" was necessary to effect necessary change. Many on the force, however, believe that one of their own, someone "who understands the force's unique culture and structure was needed to clean up the organization." On February 4, 2011 the Prime Minister's Office announced that Elliot would step down as commissioner in the summer of 2011.
As a civilian appointment, Elliot never wore the RCMP uniform during his time as Commissioner except while in Afghanistan where he wore the uniform as well as the RCMP service pistol after a short and very basic training. This was not a popular move within the RCMP. He normally only wore a business suit, and never wore the iconic Red Serge.
On August 18, 2011, the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ronald K. Noble, announced that Elliott will be appointed to a three-year term as Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations, effective November 21, 2011. He previously served as a Delegate for the America's with INTERPOL's Executive Committee.
Elliott's responsibilities will include working to facilitate and enhance co-operation between INTERPOL and the United Nations and its agencies on matters of terrorism, transnational organized crime and international police cooperation. As head of INTERPOL's UN office, the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations assists both organizations to develop key INTERPOL-UN partnerships to combat international crime and works with senior officials at the UN to identify resource-sharing opportunities.
Order of Merit of the Police Forces
The Order of Merit of the Police Forces honours a career of exceptional service or distinctive merit displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Police Services, and recognizes their commitment to this country. The primary focus is on exceptional merit, contributions to policing and community development. As Commissioner of the RCMP, Elliott holds the Commission of Principal Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. Upon leaving the RCMP, Elliott will continue to be a Commander of the Order.
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem has been a Canadian national honour since 1990, recognizing charitably minded men and women whose philanthropy is expressed principally through its two foundations, the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and St. John Ambulance. Elliott was installed an Officer of the Order of St. John in 2008.
In 1992, Elliott was commissioned a Queen's Counsel (or King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign), a lawyer appointed by letters patent to be one of "Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law". While Ontario has ceased appointments to the rank of Queen’s Counsel, membership continues to exist in various provinces within Canada and Commonwealth countries around the world. Privileges of membership include sitting within the Bar of court.
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal was created in 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ascension of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole. Elliott was awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Notes and references
- DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY Appointments
- "William Elliott sworn in as RCMP commissioner". CBC News. 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
...the organization's first chief not to have served on a police force.. Editor's note: according to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Lawrence Herchmer had not served in the police at the time of his appointment as 5th commissioner of the NWMP, but in the British Army.
- Andrew Mayada (2007-12-15). "RCMP commissioner promises sweeping changes". CanWest News Service. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
Elliott was appointed the first civilian commissioner in the RCMP's history
- "New RCMP boss vows to rise above lack of police experience". CBC News. July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "RCMP commissioner stepping down in summer". CBC News. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
- Prime Minister's Office (2005). News Release: Prime Minister announces the appointment of his National Security Advisor. Retrieved July 8, 2005.
- Transport Canada (2000). "The New Assistant Deputy Minister – Safety and Security", Newsletter Fall 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2005.
- Prime Minister's Office (2006). News Release: Prime Minister announces changes in the senior ranks of the Public Service. Retrieved April 29, 2006.
|Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police