The Quebec Mounted Police Members’ Association’s request for a class-action suit on behalf of all RCMP members across Canada who have been victims of harassment and abuse of power by RCMP management is gaining momentum, with more than 1,000 cases reported since the suit was filed three weeks ago.
“And it’s growing by the day, with phone calls and emails coming in from RCMP members across Canada who have their stories to tell,” said James Duggan, whose firm is leading the charge on behalf of the Quebec Mounted Police Members’ Association (QMPMA).
Duggan made the comment during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 28. He was joined by five members of the QMPMA, including association president Serge Bilodeau and vice-president Charles Mancer.
The application for a certification to authorize class-action proceedings was filed in Montreal on November 2 on behalf of 22,000 front-line police officers and civilian employees of the federal force, and is the first application of its kind to be made by its members.
During the press conference, Duggan and the QMPMA launched a website (https://rcmpclassaction.ca/) to allow all RCMP members — whatever their origins and wherever they are posted — who have been victims of harassment to confidentially tell their stories.
“This application for certification of a class action arose from the many members coming forward with their long-standing stories of harassment, abuse and discrimination experienced while working in the RCMP,” said Duggan. “These are stories that span many decades and point to a culture of bullying, harassment and discrimination in the RCMP.”
Duggan and the QMPMA have been at the epicentre of the RCMP’s labour movement for over 30 years and played a predominant role throughout the years in supporting members in their efforts to obtain a healthier work environment free of harassment and bullying. These efforts led to last year’s favourable landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that Canada’s Charter of Rights overruled the RCMP’s longstanding ban on allowing its members to unionize. The government responded by tabling Bill C-7, which excluded harassment from negotiations.