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Lawsuit alleges widespread systemic racism inside RCMP

No room for racism in RCMP

UPDATE 2:22 p.m.

Castanet reached out to RCMP top brass for comment on the class-action lawsuit recently filed on behalf of current and former RCMP employees alleging widespread, systemic racism within the department.

RCMP-National Communication Services, Catherine Fortin indicates, "as this matter is before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time."

Fortin did indicate:

  • The RCMP is committed to providing every part of the country with culturally competent policing that can serve all Canadian communities in a professional manner with dignity and respect."
  • Welcoming individuals from all backgrounds into the RCMP and ensuring their views and experiences are valued and integrated into how we work is important to achieving this goal.
  • The RCMP is committed to ensuring that its policies, practices and standards are fully inclusive and provide employees with equitable opportunities within the spirit of the Employment Equity Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act. 
  • There is no room for racism – or any other kind of discrimination – in the RCMP. 
  • Any report of discriminatory behaviour is concerning to the RCMP, and we remain committed to fostering a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace, free of harassment and discrimination, for all of our employees.

ORIGINAL 10:20 a.m.

The RCMP is facing another legal challenge.

This time in relation to alleged widespread racism within the RCMP.

A class action lawsuit was filed on July 7, 2020 in the Federal Court against the RCMP on behalf of racialized individuals who currently work or formerly worked for or with the RCMP. The suit, filed by former RCMP aboriginal constable Margorie Hudson, alleges that she and these individuals were subjected to widespread systemic racism by RCMP non-racialized members and RCMP management and that the RCMP breached their Charter rights and failed to ensure that they could serve their country in an environment free of racism.

The Statement of Claim describes the racist comments, derogatory remarks and double standard that Margorie Hudson was subjected to and witnessed during her 30 years with the RCMP. "My hope is that this lawsuit will bring about some positive change for racialized individuals who are still with the RCMP and those who join in the future, as well as give those who formerly worked with or for the RCMP, such as myself, the strength to come forward and perhaps open a path to the healing process."

The case is being managed by Vancouver class action lawyer, David A. Klein, "for many of the racialized individuals who have contacted our firm, and who come from all over Canada, the consequences of the racism and racist acts they have been subjected to and have endured while working for or with the RCMP have been devastating, including post-traumatic stress syndrome, attempted suicide, depression, career limitations, broken relationships and loss of consortium for their family members. This is due to the paramilitary culture of the RCMP and the ensuing abuse of authority and lack of accountability across Canada."

 



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