In May, Corporal Catherine Galliford filed a claim of being sexually harassed by her male superiors during her 16 year career with our national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Predictably, the responses from the four accused Mounties is denial. But, in this country famous for compassion, how are we supposed to understand the joint response (pdf) from the Canadian and B.C. governments? Denial and victim-blaming. Par excellence.
The accused officers “deny the acts described in Galliford’s suit actually happened.” Not only that. They tell us if Galliford was ever sexually harassed, the acts “were consensual.”
The response from the federal and provincial governments, filed with the B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, illuminates the culture of denial in the RCMP. Both governments attack and blame the victim. They claim that Galliford “had a drinking problem.” One she’d “no interest in dealing with.” She “failed to follow through on treatment she signed up for.” And, she “had plenty of opportunities to make grievance claims over the years, and never did.”