RCMP sexual harassment allegations

A new man is about the take the job of Canada's top cop but the promotion for the next Commissioner of the RCMP comes amidst ongoing allegations of sexual harassment and allegations that complaints over the abuse went no where.

Part Two of The Current

RCMP sexual harassment allegations - Hannah Thibedeau

As you've been hearing on the news, CBC has been reporting that Bob Paulson who has risen through the ranks of RCMP for the last 25 years has been chosen as the commissioner of the RCMP. He will inherit a list of controversies including on that hit the airwaves last week.

We heard from Corporal Catherine Galliford, she was one of the best known Mounties in the RCMP, she was an RCMP spokesperson, a public face for the force. Last week she told the CBC about a private ordeal. She says she endured years of persistent sexual harassment. The former corporal has filed a 115-page internal complaint and plans to sue the British Columbia RCMP.

Now since she went public, others have come forward to allege sexual harassment and bullying and also to allege that their allegations have either been mismanaged or ignored.

Well this morning as the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews announced that the new RCMP commissioner would be Bob Paulson, he immediately announced that the commission for public complaints against the RCMP will investigate the harassment charge.

Hannah Thibedeau is a CBC correspondent on Parliament Hill. She was in Ottawa.

RCMP sexual harassment allegations - Corporal Patrick Mehain

Several prominent voices in the RCMP are calling for change. The B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association believes the RCMP should have the right to unionize. And its president says the harassment allegations would be handled better by a union.

But right now, a section of the 1918 RCMP Act prohibits the Mounties from forming a union. In 2009 an Ontario Superior Court judge struck down the ban as unconstitutional. The federal government fought back, and the Ontario Court of Appeal gave Ottawa a short-term delay. The court challenge is expected to be heard in two weeks -- and it could make an RCMP union possible.

Corporal Patrick Mehain is the President of B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association and he was in Coquitlam, B.C.

We also invited the RCMP to speak to us but it declined, citing the ongoing court action.

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Game Changer - Marc Keilberger

As part of our project game changer, we've asked our listeners to tell us about a moment in their lives that really made a difference. Sometimes, the significance of a game changing moment takes a while to completely coalesce. But when it does, it can completely alter the arc of a life. We heard from Marc Keilberger, co-founder of Free the Children.

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