Politics

RCMP puts off ceremony to welcome new leader

The RCMP has postponed a change of command ceremony scheduled for Nov. 15, as the announcement of a new commissioner for the force remains up in the air.
RCMP officers talk as they await the start of a change of command ceremony in Vancouver, B.C., last February. A ceremony scheduled for Nov. 15 in Ottawa has been cancelled as the process to appoint a new commissioner continues. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The RCMP has postponed a change of command ceremony scheduled for Nov. 15, as the announcement of a new commissioner for the force remains up in the air.

More than a month after the force interviewed applicants for the job of commissioner, the government has still not chosen the man who will replace William Elliott.

The ceremony, replete with drums, bagpipes, marching and baton passing is held, when a new commissioner symbolically takes charge of the Mounties. It was to be held at a hangar at the Ottawa International Airport.

No new date has been set for the event, but Elliott's goodbye party was last month and he starts his new job with Interpol at United Nations headquarters in New York in two weeks.

Elliott told the government in February that he intended to leave the RCMP in the summer.

Formal interviews were conducted at the beginning of October. The selection committee included executives from the Privy Council Office and the department of Public Safety, as well as former RCMP Commissioner Bev Busson and former federal solicitor general and retired Conservative senator James Kelleher.

The panel interviewed four people: Deputy Commissioners Bob Paulson and Peter German, Ottawa Police Chief Vern White and Canada Border Services Agency President Luc Portelance. Portelance dropped out weeks ago and sources tell CBC News the shortlist has now been whittled down to two candidates.