Ottawa takes fight against lawsuit over bullying in RCMP to top court

The federal courtroom is interesting to the Superb Courtroom of Canada to end a huge magnificence-action lawsuit towards the Royal Canadian Fixed Police alleging “systemic negligence” in its dealing with of allegations of bullying and harassment.

The plaintiffs allege that inside channels throughout the RCMP to handle proceedings of bullying and harassment are useless as a result of they depend on the chain of command. The statement of declare says that chain of command will likely be made up of individuals who were either responsible for the offending behaviour or acted to give protection to others.

A Federal Court Docket pass judgement on last year qualified the lawsuit — that’s in quest of more than $1.1 billion — as a class action. Earlier q4, a judge brushed aside the Crown’s arguments trying to de-certify the class action declare.

The Legal Professional Common of Canada is now interesting the case as much as the Ultimate Courtroom of Canada, arguing an RCMP member’s claims of harassment and bullying can also be addressed through submitting a grievance or harassment complaint, or thru an inner RCMP Code of Behavior research.

Lawsuit alleging ‘systemic negligence’ of bullying, harassment claims in RCMP moves aheadMountie hopes recent file on RCMP’s ‘toxic’ tradition convinces Ottawa to stay out of lawsuit

The federal Division of Justice referred questions about the case to the RCMP.

“Canada is looking the Ultimate Court Docket of Canada to hear its entice download readability on whether the courts will have to certify a class motion on the subject of office disputes while there are already administrative resolution methods in position,” mentioned RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki in a media remark.

In its enchantment documents, the federal govt is arguing the decrease courts’ decisions will “do grave harm” and have wide-reaching impacts on place of job disputes amongst non-unionized workers.

It also argues the problem used to be settled in a 2005 Ideal Courtroom decision, referred to as Vaughan, related to a federal public servant’s battle for early retirement advantages.

In that case, the bench ruled that Parliament had created a comprehensive scheme for coping with labour disputes and that scheme should not be jeopardized by way of permitting parallel get right of entry to to the courts.  

“The court docket’s reasoning enables the routine evasion of statutory administrative center dispute answer regimes via entire categories of non-unionized staff,” the Crown wrote.

“Troublingly, this odd assumption of jurisdiction would not be in keeping with particularized proof of the inefficacy of the present regimes. As this court docket stated in Vaughan, the outcome may just give a brand new dimension to the idea that of floodgates.”

Ottawa takes fight against lawsuit over bullying in RCMP to top court

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki mentioned the RCMP has made ongoing efforts to address harassment. (Chris Wattie/Canadian Press)

One In All the lead plaintiffs in the case, Geoffrey Greenwood, mentioned he continued administrative center reprisals after reporting allegations of bribery and corruption in opposition to fellow RCMP drug officers in 2008 — years earlier than RCMP members were allowed to unionize.

Greenwood stated he was demonized and ostracized by means of fellow officers who sought after him to drop the case.

“i stopped up kind of leaving a shell of an individual,” he advised CBC again in 2018. “your entire personality is torn aside and stripped down and you might be villainized.”

In her commentary, Lucki mentioned the RCMP has made an ongoing attempt to deal with harassment.

“All of those efforts are a mirrored image of the RCMP’s persevered willpower to fostering a secure and inclusive office,” she said.

“we’re assured the adjustments we’re implementing will show important results for our workers and the RCMP.”

Nearly a year in the past, former Ideally Suited Court justice Michel Bastarache released a scathing report pointing to systemic cultural issues within the RCMP and referred to as for an exterior review of the future of the long-lasting Canadian institution.

The record grew out of the Merlo-Davidson settlement, which used to be the outcome of a separate magnificence action lawsuit on behalf of ladies who have been sexually abused or discriminated against while serving within the RCMP.

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