Federal Government challenges claim for collective action against RCMP
The federal government is challenging an action for harassment and intimidation against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the grounds that the police force has already adopted a comprehensive policy in this area.
He also intends to defend the RCMP by saying that it has made progress towards a firm modernization of its policies.
In a submission to the Federal Court of Canada, attorneys representing the Attorney General say that the prosecution of two experienced RCMP officers, Geoffery Greenwood and Todd Gray, should not be allowed.
“This motion is not about whether or not there is a problem of harassment in the RCMP or whether the RCMP has responded appropriately to the problem,” they write. The only question that arises is whether the proposed claims should go through collective action. The proposed action does not meet the legal criteria for certification. ”
Federal lawyers argue that the RCMP has “unequivocally” recognized the problem of bullying and harassment and has taken concrete steps to address it.
They recall that she had worked to implement many of the recommendations stemming from reports of police deficiencies in recent years. The argument that the actions of the RCMP are insufficient and that collective action is the only way to bring about change does not take into account these efforts, they add.
In the past, the RCMP has often settled class actions by paying millions of dollars in compensation to victims of discrimination and harassment. These cases involved female members of the National Police or people who served in units that did not maintain law and order from 1974 onwards.
The current case is more general. It concerns both male and female employees who have worked for the RCMP in a wide range of roles over the last few decades. It excludes women already involved in other collective actions.
Messrs. Greenwood and Gray, both of whom live in Alberta, allege that they were subjected to widespread intimidation and harassment that was encouraged and tolerated by RCMP leaders. According to them, these behaviors amplified by an imbalance between the command and the members of the police force created a toxic work environment, characterized by the abuse of power and fears of reprisals.
More than 800 people from across the country contacted the mandated attorneys to handle the class action request.
The motion was partly argued during two days of hearings last month. No date has yet been set for what follows.