A report issued this week by former Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache looked at the complaints brought against the RCMP by former members Janet Merlo and Linda Gillis Davidson.
The report was unequivocal in its findings against the Force, confirming that there was a history of systemic harassment in the RCMP against women and a culture of bullying.
The report claims “One of the key findings of this report is that the culture of the RCMP is toxic and tolerates misogynistic and homophobic attitudes amongst its leaders and members.”
I have been writing about this for years and now the systemic cultural problems have been laid bare for all Canadians to see and hopefully to discuss the way forward.
Unfortunately, the report does not do anything to put into place parameters to stop the RCMP from its brutish and outdated behaviour. Nor does the executive of the RCMP agree to any circumstances that would lead them to alleviate any of the egregious behaviour.
We’re left with the leadership of the RCMP agreeing that they did bad and agreed to pay out large amounts of taxpayers’ dollars for their foibles, but there is nothing in the document that says what they will do going forward.
What is the point of the exercise? What will change?
Historically, the RCMP have been a deliberately opaque organization. And nothing has changed.
Take for example the case of serving member Constable Gerry Rundel who, along with Corporal Monty Robinson (Ret.) has initiated criminal complaints within the Force that are still reverberating throughout the organization.
Rundel and Robinson were two of the four members involved in the response to the disturbance call at YVR in October 2007 that resulted in the death of Polish traveller Robert Dziekanski.
All four members went through hell. All four were charged criminally with perjury on what can only be described as trumped up charges by a system that desperately wanted a scapegoat.
Rundel was acquitted at trial but Robinson was convicted and sentenced to jail in what can only be described as a travesty of justice.
They are both pursuing criminal charges against the Commissioner of the RCMP and senior officers to try and get a measure of justice.
The RCMP internal investigation went nowhere but through the pressure put forward by Rundel and Robinson, the matter of obstruction of justice has been referred to the Ontario Provincial Police and the matter is currently under investigation by that agency.
Constable Rundel has also requested a Case Management overview which should include all documents requested of the RCMP and the Department of Justice.
The RCMP requested two separate adjournments to get together the requisite documents, which was granted, but to date has yet to comply. In fact, they seem to be in radio silence as we approach the November 30 deadline date.
Open? Transparent? That is not the RCMP.
Systemic bullying and harassment is but one component of today’s RCMP.
Never mind what they say, this is reality.