Earlier this week, I blogged that hundreds of current and former female Mounties from across Canada had launched a class-action lawsuit alleging harassment within the ranks of the RCMP. Yesterday, Valerie MacLean, a well-known British Columbian and former head of the Better Business Bureau, joined the lawsuit, according to the CBC News.
MacLaren’s story echoes that of Corporal Catherine Galliford, who filed a claim of being sexually harassed by her male superiors during her 16 year career with the RCMP. She alleges that her supervisor harassed her as a young RCMP constable in Maple Ridge in the late 1970s.
“He would, for eight hours, on the shift, tell me that if I was friendly, if we had a relationship, it would be good for my career because he was doing my assessment.”
“Years later, nothing has changed,” MacLean told the Nanaimo News Bulletin. “This systemic culture in the RCMP of harassment and not accepting these women as equals has to stop.”
This happened in Canada? Again, I’ve to ask the question: would the accused blame and attack the victims as the governments of Canada and BC did in their joint response (pdf) to Galliford’s claim?
Both governments claimed that Galliford “had a drinking problem.” One she’d “no interest in dealing with.” They claimed that she “failed to follow through on treatment she signed up for.” And that she “had plenty of opportunities to make grievance claims over the years, and never did.”
In an opinion piece published by the Ottawa Citizen this week, Senator Colin Kenny posited that: “When it comes to harassment at the RCMP, sex is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Canadians are watching. We expect real answers.