Claims include systemic negligence and failure to provide harassment-free environment
The Federal Court has certified as a class proceeding claims of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members and reservists alleging bullying, intimidation, and harassment within the police force.
In Greenwood v. Canada, 2022 FC 1317, Geoffrey Greenwood and Todd Gray sought certification of a claim against the Crown alleging that there was systemic bullying, intimidation, and harassment at the RCMP. The scope of the claim includes the RCMP’s failure to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment and harassment generally.
In an order dated September 20, 2022, the Federal Court certified the class proceeding.
The court defined the class as all current or former RCMP members and reservists who worked for the RCMP from 1995 to when the collective agreement became applicable to a bargaining unit.
On behalf of the class, the action claimed systemic negligence and that, in allowing the culture to manifest and permeate the organization, the RCMP failed to provide the class members with an intimidation-and harassment-free environment, said the court.
The court also ruled that the claims included a declaration that the Crown was negligent in failing to provide an intimidation- and harassment-free workplace. The members claimed that the Crown breached its common law, contractual, and statutory duties due to such negligence as well as general and special damages, loss of income, exemplary and punitive damages, and cost of administration, said the court.
The court approved three common questions for negligence and one for damages.
The court appointed Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC as counsel for the class and approved the plaintiff’s litigation plan. The plan included provisions on reporting and communicating with class members, a litigation timetable, notice of certification and output procedure, enforcement of the preclusion order, consolidation of the class, documentary discovery, expert opinions, summary trial, common issues trial, assessment of damages, and the final report.