Nunavut RCMP eliminates driver’s licence recruitment barrier

RCMP no longer requires unrestricted driver’s licence

Nunavut’s RCMP is working to remove barriers placed on Nunavut youth by its formal application process, including the requirement to have an unrestricted driver’s licence. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Nunavummiut interested in a career in the RCMP no longer need an unrestricted driver’s licence to apply.

Speaking at an Iqaluit city council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27, Cpl. Dmitri Malakhov, a recruitment officer with Nunavut’s “V” Division, said the requirement created a barrier for Nunavut applicants.

“We were able to convince our national policy people that that’s ridiculous in Nunavut,” Malakhov said.

Malakhov said that once candidates are successful in the recruitment process, the RCMP will then help them obtain their unrestricted licence.

But for now, a restricted licence is still required when applying to join the RCMP.

In Nunavut, an unrestricted licence requires a driving test, while a restricted licence requires a written test and a vision test.

Getting rid of the unrestricted licence requirement is just one of the changes “V” division has made to the application process, Malakhov said.

The division has also teamed up with the Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corp. on a recruitment program aimed at preparing Inuit recruits for the RCMP Training Academy.

The program will help candidates with the application process. Malakhov gave an example of a “star candidate” from Nunavut who had never had a formal job interview before.

“So when somebody with that experience now participates in the very formalized RCMP recruitment process, they face challenges. And the people down south don’t look at that candidate through the same lens that we have the privilege of seeing them through.”

Coun. Romeyn Stevenson, the deputy mayor, asked Malakhov if the RCMP had a target for how many Inuit the RCMP expects to hire from this process.

Malakhov said they do not have a specific target, because their focus is on individuals who are ready to apply right now.

“We’re reaching out to as many individuals as we can. We’re leaving no stone unturned. We haven’t set targets because we’re going full blast … we’re not trying to meet a minimum amount, we’re just trying to do as much as we can,” he said.

“We do recognize that we have our own barriers that we’ve put up that have prevented individuals from Nunavut from participating in our recruitment process.”

Malakhov also put out a call to city councillors and other community leaders to identify young people who might be a good fit for a job in the RCMP.

“You folks know the community very well and being in positions of leadership, it would certainly be great if you identify an individual, who, as leaders in your community, you feel would make a positive contribution to Nunavut through employment at the RCMP.”

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Jimmy James on

    So will these candidates take the test once they’ve gone through Depot? I’m guessing that these requirements are in place for safety related reason, probably based on statistics, etc.? So why would the RCMP reduce the standards for Inuit entering the RCMP? Wouldn’t it be prudent to just take the candidates south, train them at Depot and then they have to take the test?

    • Posted by Unik on

      “Malakhov said that once candidates are successful in the recruitment process, the RCMP will then help them obtain their unrestricted licence.”

      They’d get their license before going to Depot from what I understand.

  2. Posted by Jonathan on

    When you first apply for your license you do all that road test written test vision test and still makes you do it for the second time which makes no sense. Just minus more money on fees

  3. Posted by Police cars on

    God, police cars chasing the culprit, never learn to drive properly, they maybe not even know the full extend of the law, after all, they’re special arranged , with the lowest qualification, license and all.

    • Posted by Huh? on

      I’m not sure how you feel a restricted license means they have the “lowest qualification”. How about the fact that they are significantly more skilled in many areas that matter in the North such as language, culture, understanding of mental health and northern issues not to mention knowledge of the land. Perhaps its time we asked the southern RCMP Officers to step up to meet this skill set? Oh ya… and it would be OK if they only had a restricted license too.

      • Posted by Israel MacArthur on

        Except that as RCMP officers they will serve anywhere in Canada, and will need to be able to provide services to all. It is unusual to post to home provinces or territories.

        So yeah, unless they are required to get the same standard as everyone else at a later point in their career it is a problem. Getting this qualification post recruitment makes sense because of the unique circumstances and Nunavut, eliminating it entirely makes no sense.

  4. Posted by Harell on

    No matter how much the Mounties want to recruit Inuit. They should definitely not lower there standarts. As the premier police force in Canada all recruits should have to be held to the same recruitment standard. Just because a subgroup is desirable to represent that is under represented in the force. A lower standard applied to them is unfair to those who apply that meet or exceed the current standards. Doing so may also be breaking the entry rules that have already been set by the Mounties.
    I agree that all Canadians thar aspire to become a member of this police force should be considered. But each applicant must be held to the very standard as any other applicant.

  5. Posted by Mario Andretti on

    At least half of the ignorant commenters on this post do not understand the situation.

    To get an unrestricted drivers licence, you have to pass a test administered by a qualified DRIVER EXAMINER.

    The problem is there NO QUALIFIED DRIVER EXAMINERS in most Nunavut communities. Just in case you didn’t get that point, I’ll repeat it. There are NO QUALIFIED DRIVER EXAMINERS in most Nunavut communities. For the slow learners out there, I will repeat that a third time, there are NO QUALIFIED DRIVER EXAMINERS in most Nunavut communities.

    So even if you can pass a road test and have the skills to pass a road test, you cannot take the test unless you are willing to wait for a long, long time. The GN provides no info by the way, about how you can apply for a test

    The RCMP used to administer the drivers licence tests, but backed out in 2017. The GN has not come up with an adequate system to fill the gap, leaving thousands of Nunavummiut who want a drivers licence in the lurch. There are only two or three driver examiners in all of Nunavut and they are all based in Iqaluit only.

    This is a barrier that affects non-Inuit and Inuit the same way. So all you racist pigs out there who are accusing the RCMP of dropping standards to give special treatment to Inuit, well, that’s what you are, a racist pig going out of your way to scream racism every time some government institution tries to do something creative.

    • Posted by Israel MacArthur on

      As you say, this applies to all in Nunavut, regardless of ethnicity. The change in standards is to the benefit of all, again, regardless of ethnicity.

      You are way off base and misguided to say that comments here are racist. RCMP officers need to be able to serve all of us, anywhere in Canada, regardless of their geographic or ethnic origin.

      Streamlining the process and allowing applicants from Nunavut to get a full unrestricted license later in the application process makes sense, as long as they have it before they begin training. Allowing RCMP officers to serve in other provinces on a restricted Nunavut license makes no sense at all.

      Your outrage is misplaced.

  6. Posted by Dmitri Malakhov on

    Hello everyone! Just wanting to clarify a few things. This way, there is no ambiguity as you are hearing it from the horse’s mouth.

    We are not lowering any standards. What we are doing is trying to overcome some systemic challenges that exist in Nunavut as a result of isolation and under-resourcing. Even when the RCMP conducted driver license examinations, we could only test for licenses restricted to Nunavut. A driving examiner from Gjoa Haven, Iqaluit or Rankin Inlet still had to fly into the community to test folks who wanted to upgrade to a full unrestricted Canadian driver’s license. Previous to the change discussed in this article, we required an individual to possess such an unrestricted driver’s licence. This made little sense as individuals had to wait a very long time to get tested. The RCMP recruitment process is very long as well. It only makes sense to allow people to apply, write our admission test while they continue waiting for a driver’s license test. I rarely hear of people failing a driving test, whereas the failure rate of our admission test is much higher. It therefore makes better sense to try one’s luck on the test right away.
    Driving skill is a critical part of policing. We should recognize that passing a driving test does not translate into possessing this skill to an enhanced degree. We have applicants from across the country who have limited driving experience. The totality of this is assessed during our screening processes. We have a very robust driver training program at Depot and we are prepared to work with cadets from remote regions to get them more experience. Every cadet, regardless of their region of origin, will be required to pass our driving bench marks. Failure to do so results in dismissal from the training academy or placement in a newer class to repeat the program. No standard is lowered at any point.

    Anyone interested in exploring a career with the RCMP should get a hold of us at

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