RCMP issues latest denial in harassment lawsuits
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:31PM PST
The RCMP has issued its latest denial in a series of harassment lawsuits filed by female Mounties.
The latest case involves Const. Karen Katz, who has launched two lawsuits -- the first alleging harassment by one of her colleagues, and a second alleging widespread harassment and abuse throughout her career on the force.
The RCMP already issued a statement of defence earlier this year denying the allegations in Katz's first lawsuit, which targeted Corp. Baldev (David) Singh Bamra, an officer who Katz worked with in the Vancouver area. Bamra has also denied all of her allegations.
The Mounties filed a statement of defence last week in Katz's second lawsuit. In that suit, filed in July, Katz alleged she was harassed, bullied and sexually harassed by various colleagues and superiors from when she joined the force in 1988 until she went on medical leave for post-traumatic stress in 2009.
The RCMP's statement of defence denies all of Katz's allegations and says the officer should have launched a formal grievance if she had concerns that needed to be addressed.
"Many of the alleged acts of harassment, conflict and intimidation alleged (by Katz) were first brought to the RCMP's attention with the filing of this notice of claim," said the statement of defence, filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
"Any alleged damages or perceived failures of the RCMP in relation to these alleged acts are attributable to the plaintiff's failure to notify the RCMP of her complaints in a timely manner or at all."
In an interview, Katz said she raise her concerns while she was still on active duty, but she said the RCMP's complaints process doesn't work.
"Their tactics are deny, deny," she said.
"They're not taking any responsibility for their actions. They're telling me to use the grievance process, but the grievance process is in effective."
Several female Mounties have filed lawsuits in the past year claiming they have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted on the job, including one who is attempting to launch a class-action case in B.C.
The most well-known case involves Cpl. Catherine Galliford, who was once a spokeswoman for the RCMP on cases including serial killer Robert Pickton and the Air Indian bombing. Galliford filed her lawsuit earlier this year.
The RCMP has issued a sweeping denial in Galliford's case, as well.