Statement by Minister Mendicino on RCMP Class Actions

OTTAWA, ON, June 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, issued the following statement:

“There is absolutely no place for misogyny, harassment or violence within the RCMP or Canadian society. Sadly, we cannot say that this basic standard has always been met.

Today, the Independent Assessors released the Final Report on Tiller/Copland/Roach RCMP Class Action, which addresses sexual harassment and discrimination experienced with the RCMP between 1974 and 2019.

The experiences detailed in the report are those of women who signed up to serve their communities and were met with misogyny. There are countless stories of sexual harassment, homophobia and sexual assault. In many cases, there were significant power imbalances involved. These were volunteers, students, contractors and public servants who wanted to make a difference. They deserved to feel safe at work. Instead, they were let down.

The report further underscores what survivors and advocates have long made clear: there has been a culture within the RCMP that is permissive of systemic inequities and has led to sexual harassment, misogyny, homophobia and sexual assault. It was allowed to fester over the years.  

Significant cultural change is needed within the RCMP. That’s why the government remains focused on its commitment to implement institutional reforms. Every person has the right to work in an environment that is safe, where they can freely report harassment, discrimination or violence.

First, we transformed the internal grievance process by creating the Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution (ICHR.) Most significantly, we are strengthening the autonomy of the ICHR by making it more independent and transparent – moving away from an internal process, which previously led to distrust, fears of retribution and under-reporting. 

Second, we are also determining how best to strengthen the oversight role of the RCMP’s Management Advisory Board. 

Third, we’re supporting the RCMP’s hiring of an external expert to carry out conduct a review of conduct measures, ensuring they meet high standards when it comes to fairness, transparency and effectiveness. We, along with the RCMP, are currently reviewing their recommendations, and will be implementing relevant changes. There must be accountability for misconduct.

Finally, we are ensuring that the RCMP’s workforce is more reflective of the diversity of our country, including women, Racialized Canadians, the LGBTQ2+ community and Indigenous Peoples. These reforms will help to build a culture of respect, accountability and inclusion within the RCMP. 

We remain steadfast in our commitment to change culture, help everyone feel safe and ensure that the RCMP truly reflects the values of the country it serves.”

SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada

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