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RCMP accused of failing to honour employee rights

Recently there has been a great deal of attention paid to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in national and provincial news. Ontario residents are no doubt aware that the national police agency has been accused time and again of allowing violations of employee rights, including harassment, bullying and discrimination within the ranks. Now, civilian leadership is calling for sweeping changes in the organization to root out and put a stop to this behaviour. 

Back in 2013, the Minister for Public Safety issued an ordinance requiring the RCMP to overhaul its processes as they pertained to handling complaints of harassment in the workplace. The Mounties initially responded to these requests, and by 2014 they had instituted new policies throughout the nation and appeared to be working toward enforcing them. However, a more recent inquest has revealed that the initial push towards a safer workplace has been all but abandoned by the national police. 

The majority of complaints revolve around the abuse of authority by managerial-level staff, including abusive language and ostracization of employees. Punitive measures like arbitrary denial of leave or unasked-for transfers also appear to be commonplace. Given the narrow definition the RCMP apparently ascribes to the concept of harassment, some civilian leaders say this continued behaviour comes as no surprise. 

While Ontario and Canadian governments work in tandem to promote employee rights in the ranks of the RCMP and elsewhere, this is not necessarily true of all workplaces. Thankfully, there are legal options available for victims of workplace harassment. Seeking the support of an experienced attorney in handling a harassment complaint is a valuable option if an employer is unable or unwilling to address it internally. 

Source:, "Harassment, bullying in RCMP a "serious and persistent problem"", Jim Bronskill, May 15, 2017

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