The Federal Court appointed the Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C., Q.C. as the Independent Assessor on May 30, 2017.
The Assessor operates with complete independence in fulfilling his mandate. He does not report to the RCMP or the Government of Canada. His role is to receive claims, assess them and award compensation in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement reached by the parties and approved by the Federal Court on May 30, 2017.
The Assessor will retain the services of the professionals as necessary to assist him in accomplishing his mandate. All those retained by the Assessor are sworn to secrecy and must respect the confidentiality of the files.
WRITTEN MESSAGE FROM THE INDEPENDENT ASSESSOR
In the last four years, two class actions were initiated alleging that female employees working within the RCMP, as regular members, civilian members, or as Public service employees, were subject to gender and sexual orientation based discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace, and the RCMP leadership failed to exercise their duty to women in the RCMP, to ensure that they could work in an environment free of such unacceptable conduct.
The Plaintiffs, the RCMP and the Government of Canada, agree that gender and sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination, in whatever form, have no place in the RCMP, and indeed, anywhere in Canada.
They have entered into a Settlement Agreement with three objectives:
- To implement measures to eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination in the RCMP;
- To restore confidence in the RCMP as an organization that values equity and equality;
- To resolve the Claims of persons who experienced, and/or continue to experience, gender and/or sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination while working in the RCMP, after September 16, 1974.
I am NOT an agent, representative or member of the RCMP, nor of any government institution. The two main reasons for my appointment will be to ensure that the assessment of claims will be at arm’s length from the RCMP and the federal government, and to establish a process under which confidentiality of the claims will be guaranteed to the maximum extent possible.
The Claims Process
It is unfortunately not possible to undo the harm that was done. However, the parties have come to an agreement regarding apologies and compensation.
The objective of the Claims Process is to provide compensation, in proportion to the severity of the injuries that were sustained, in a process that is both sensitive to, and supportive of, the women who will be bringing these issues forward.
The parties have established six categories of claims, based on the nature of the harassment and its impact. I will examine all of the completed forms and the supporting documentation, and I will conduct interviews of all claimants preliminary evaluated in levels 3 to 6. The Claimant may have a friend, family member or treating health care professional present at the personal interview for the purpose of providing moral support. Expenses will be reimbursed for Claimants who have to travel more than 50 kilometres from their residence.
I will assess the information you provide, consulting when necessary medical doctors, psychiatrists and human resources experts. The limited number of people on my team who will access your information are also sworn to secrecy. I will administer payment of compensation to Claimants in order to preserve confidentiality.
If you have any questions, you can call, toll free, or write by email:
Telephone: 1 844 348-0776