Politics

RCMP agrees to reinstate former Mountie discharged over Mayerthorpe trauma

Const. Trevor Josok was involuntarily medically discharged from the force in June 2016

Fallen Four Memorial Park

Fallen Four Memorial Park, which opened in Mayerthorpe in 2008, commemorates four constables — Brock Myrol, Leo Johnston, Peter Schiemann and Anthony Gordon — who were all shot and killed in 2005. (CBC)

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The RCMP has agreed to reinstate a Mountie who developed post-traumatic stress disorder after four of his fellow officers were murdered at Mayerthorpe, Alta., in 2005.

Const. Trevor Josok took the force to Federal Court after he was involuntarily medically discharged from the force last summer after several years of being on leave.

Josok's mental health suffered a blow after James Roszko murdered four of the constable's colleagues at the same scene Josok had been guarding just a few hours earlier. After a medical leave, the constable returned to work in 2006 but left on a medical leave two years later, saying his supervisors only assigned him menial tasks.

Josok's B.C.-based lawyer Sebastien Anderson said the RCMP let him go in June 2016. 

"They just medically discharged him without having the medical evidence and in this instance Const. Josok's restrictions were fairly limited. The only restriction was he could not wear a uniform and there's many non-uniform positions that he could perform," Anderson told CBC News.

Anderson said he received a settlement agreement today, saying the RCMP would reinstate Josok retroactive to the date he was discharged.

SPORT ALPINE SKIING

RCMP constables Trevor Josok, left, and Joe Wenisch stand by as French skier Carole Montillet waves the French flag on the podium after a race in Lake Louise, Alta., in 2001. Josok, who suffered PTSD and was involuntarily medically discharged last year, has won reinstatement. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

No one from the RCMP responded to a request for comment from CBC News, but Anderson said Josok should be back in a plain-clothes job within two months after re-obtaining security clearance and undergoing a fitness examination.

RCMP mental health services found lacking

Today's settlement comes on the heels of this week's report from the federal auditor general that found the force is failing to meet its employees' mental health needs.

Michael Ferguson found 20 per cent of all Mounties who took a mental health sick leave never return to work and that "supervisors did not always accommodate members' return to work as required."

The settlement could have wide-reaching implications, as many other Mounties have also been involuntarily medically discharged from the national police force over the last year. The discharges are happening under a revamped RCMP Act, which removed several barriers to dismissing members.

Anderson alone has five more similar cases. The lawyer says the RCMP only pays lip service to their duty to try to find another job for employees who've been injured on the job.

"They've taken a really aggressive approach in discharging members frankly without supporting medical evidence that would show that they're totally disabled from performing their occupation and can't be accommodated," said Anderson.

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