Ralph Goodale to review harassment cases of B.C. women suing RCMP
Liberal government will 'strive' to ensure federal workplaces free from harassment, sexual violence
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.
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Cpl. Catherine Galliford, Cpl. Susan Gastaldo, Const. Alice Fox and Atoya Montague, a civilian employee, are all off-duty, suffering from post-traumatic stress.
"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.
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