HISTORY OF THE AGREEMENT
The agreement arose in the wake of two class action suits alleging that female members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were or had been victims of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, intimidation and harassment in their workplace. The first action undertaken by Janet Merlo in British Columbia in 2012 and a second in Ontario by Linda Gillis Davidson in 2015 alleged that the RCMP failed to exercise its responsibilities to ensure employees could work in an environment free of discrimination, intimidation and harassment.
Following discussions, the parties agreed to a settlement confirming the abandonment of these proceedings in favor of a conciliation process to compensate all harassed employees and, in some cases, members of their family.
PRINCIPLES OF THE AGREEMENT
Discussions between the plaintiffs, representatives of the RCMP and the Government of Canada led to an acknowledgement that discrimination, bullying and harassment have no place in the RCMP, nor anywhere else in Canada.
The parties came to an agreement intended to restore confidence in the RCMP, put an end to RCMP workplace discrimination and harassment, and to resolve the claims of the women who were subject to sexual or gender based harassment or discrimination while employed in the RCMP. The parties also agreed to implement change initiatives in the RCMP and compensate claimants.
OVERVIEW OF THE AGREEMENT
What follows are the broad terms of the agreement:
- The parties jointly announce the nature of the agreement approved by the Government of Canada.
- The RCMP agrees to implement the following measures:
- The Commissioner of the RCMP makes an official apology to the victims
- The RCMP adopts measures to change the organizational culture of the force
- The RCMP creates a scholarship fund to recognize exceptional accomplishment in the fight against harassment
- The RCMP creates a national advisory council and regional committees to deal with all cases of harassment and intimidation related to gender within the RCMP
- The creation of a claims process for employees and former employees considered to have been victims of harassment or discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation as part of their employment
- The Claims process is to be undertaken by an Independent Assessor appointed by the Court.
- The Settlement Agreement also provides for the appointment of an additional Assessor by the Court to provide for the timely assessment of claims, subject to the consent of the parties and the Independent Assessor.
- The Settlement Agreement provides that the Parties and the Assessor may jointly agree to retain one or more additional Assessors to provide for the timely assessment of Claims and if so, to jointly seek the approval of the Court. The additional Assessors are not agents, servants, or employees of Canada or a government institution.