British Columbia

Ralph Goodale to review harassment cases of B.C. women suing RCMP

Liberal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says his government is committed to federal workplaces free of harassment or sexual violence and will review cases of women with claims against the RCMP.

Liberal government will 'strive' to ensure federal workplaces free from harassment, sexual violence

Ralph Goodale, Canada's new minister of public safety, says he is committed to keeping federal workplaces, like the RCMP, free of sexual violence and harassment. (Susan Mas/CBC)

Liberal Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale says his government is committed to federal workplaces free of harassment or sexual violence and will review cases of women with claims against the RCMP.

The announcement comes as four female RCMP employees have asked the new prime minister to stop the force from firing them before their lawsuits alleging harassment are heard in court.

Cpl. Catherine Galliford, Cpl. Susan Gastaldo, Const. Alice Fox and Atoya Montague, a civilian employee, are all off-duty, suffering from post-traumatic stress.

In a letter sent to all Liberal MPs and senators, they outline their struggles in the RCMP and ask the Liberal government to step in.

"We're asking your government to be the one that ends the abuse once and for all," they wrote.


The RCMP have served notice of dismissal to Montague and Galliford, and the other two women fear they're next, even though their lawsuits have not been heard in court.

Fox worries she will face repercussions for speaking out about her case without permission from the force and that others may be deterred from coming forward with their stories.

Susan Gastaldo, Catherine Galliford, Alice Fox and Atoya Montegue joined forces to ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for help in their cases against the RCMP. (CBC)

Now though, it appears as if the Liberal government wants those like Fox to know things will change.

"In Opposition and during the election, we made it clear that a new Liberal government would strive to ensure that Parliament and federal institutions — including the public service, the RCMP, and the Canadian Armed Forces — are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence," Goodale said in a statement sent to CBC News.

Review of training policies

"We will review current gender and culturally sensitive training policies for federal front-line law enforcement officers to ensure that they are strong and effective," he added.

The statement continues:

"As the minister responsible for Canada's national police force, harassment is an issue that I take very seriously."

"All RCMP members and employees should feel safe and respected among their colleagues and superiors, and Canadians have the right to expect professional and exemplary conduct from the force."

Will review cases

The statement ends by saying, "with respect to specific cases, I will begin by reviewing them as quickly as possible with the commissioner."

In their letter to Justin Trudeau, all four women ask him to stop RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson from firing alleged victims of harassment before their lawsuits are settled in court and to provide equal funding to the alleged victims of harassment who have had to sue the RCMP.

with files from the CBC's Natalie Clancy


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?