Janet Merlo, one of the first to claim sexual harassment when she worked for the RCMP, called it a good day for the RCMP. “This is the beginning of a new era, a better era.”
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson put emphasis on the confidentiality the claimants would be granted, but said they would not be held to a gag order.
Each claim will be assessed independently and given a ranking from one to six. Payments would be
“I spent 27 almost 28 years in the force,” said claimant Linda Davidson. “Commissioner Paulson, thank you. I sincerely mean that.”
“When I became an officer I became a gatekeeper of the RCMP. I will continue to watch things that develop. I will continue to stand up and right the wrongs as they occur,” Davidson said at the press conference announcing the settlement procedures.
Asked about the length of time and process took to get this far, Davidson said it was “long and difficult. It wasn’t an easy process. Anyone who denigrates, bullies, harasses their colleagues has no place in the RCMP. I do encourage women to come forward. Things are changing, we are making waves for the future. It’s 2016 and I’m as equal to anyone in this room as they are to me.”
Merlo said women from all walks of life had reached out to her. “It’s not just an RCMP thing. So many women muck through it without anywhere to turn. In the RCMP its a minority, but it’s a potent minority that does these things”
Paulson said the move has started to bring the police force “to modernity.”