RCMP Commissioner William Elliott has further demoted one of the senior Mounties who challenged his leadership and triggered a workplace assessment of the force.


RCMP Commissioner William Elliott has denied his shakeup of RCMP senior staff is his way to clean house of those who criticized his management style. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

Deputy commissioner Raf Souccar is no longer responsible for federal and international policing, Elliott said in a memo to staff on Thursday. Souccar will report to Rod Knecht, the senior deputy commissioner, the memo said.

Bob Paulson, the assistant commissioner, will get a bump in rank and take over Souccar's old federal and international policing file.

Souccar also used to serve as acting commanding officer for Ontario and Quebec. On Oct. 21, Elliott eliminated all such regional deputy commissioner positions and replaced them with two senior executive officers.

Souccar was among several RCMP executives who complained in July to the highest levels of the federal government about the management style of the force's first civilian commissioner. The officers accused Elliott of being verbally abusive, arrogant and insulting. 

Following the complaints, the Conservative government ordered an independent workplace assessment that found "an unhealthy level of tension and internal conflict" in the senior ranks.

Elliott, who became the first civilian to head the Mounties in July 2007, has acknowledged his "passion" for his work can get the better of him. But in an interview last month with CBC News, the commissioner denied he was "cleaning house" with his shakeup and insisted he did not have an anger-management problem.

 Among the other changes announced Thursday:

  • Assistant commissioner Peter German will be promoted and take over as deputy commissioner west in light of Gary Bass's retirement in February 2011.
  • Assistant commissioner Peter Hourihan is being promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner and will take over as commanding officer for British Columbia.