George Brinton McClellan



November 1, 1963 - August 14, 1967

McClellan was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on August 13, 1908. In 1929, he graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston with a Certificate of Military Qualifications in Cavalry and Infantry. He joined the RCMP on August 15, 1932. During his steady rise in the RCMP, McClellan occupied a variety of positions across Canada primarily in national security and criminal investigation. On November 1, 1963, he was appointed Commissioner of the RCMP.

It was a difficult period with the advent of Centennial year and Expo 67 which called for the provision of security measures for heads of state and millions of tourists of a magnitude never seen before in Canada. At the same time the Force was involved in the proceedings of four commissions on security procedures which brought it under severe criticism. To deal with growing organized crime, commercial fraud and use of illegal drugs, McClellan chaired two federal-provincial conferences that resulted in the expansion of National Police Services (for example, the introduction of a wire-photo service, a stolen auto bureau, and commercial fraud sections with specially trained personnel), and the Canadian Police College (which would provide advanced training for officers from all Canadian police forces in a bilingual program). McClellan terminated equitation training for all recruits which eliminated the horse as an integral part of the Force‚s establishment but maintained it for the Musical Ride. Although controversial, this decision reinforced the Force‚s tradition of adopting modern methods and rejecting practices that had served their time and become obsolete.

McClellan‚s career earned him many honours. For his work in training Nordic troops based in Canada during World War II he was decorated by the Norwegian government with the King Haakon VII Cross of Liberation. He also a recipient of the St. John Ambulance Medal, the 1953 Coronation Medal, the RCMP Long Service Medal with Gold Clasp and the Canadian Centennial Medal. In 1973 he received an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta.

After his retirement on August 14, 1967, McClellan became the first Ombudsman in Canada, serving the Province of Alberta in this position until 1974. In 1976 he was Chairman of the Rent Regulation Appeal Board of Alberta until January 1, 1978 when he became Chairman of the Alberta Press Council. McClellan died on July 19, 1982 in Edmonton, Alberta.


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by Stephen Luscombe