Yukon women's groups slam RCMP decision to halt sexual assault review process

Yukon women's groups are criticizing the RCMP's decision to shut down a committee reviewing sexual assault cases.

The Yukon Advocate Case Review was set up in 2018 to examine sexual assault cases police labelled unfounded or where no one was charged.

But a coalition of advocacy groups said Wednesday that the RCMP's national headquarters ordered Yukon RCMP to shut the project down, citing privacy concerns.

"We're seeing the RCMP national headquarters leaning really far into shielding themselves from transparency by leaning into that privacy end of things," said Aja Mason, the executive director of the Yukon Status of Women Council. "They're invoking the Privacy Act as a way to shirk transparency."

Mason said the privacy concerns are unfounded because the Yukon review process is based on the Canadian Framework for a Collaborative Response to Sexual Violence. The federal privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, has said that framework does not violate the federal Privacy Act.

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