Independent inquiry needed into RCMP sexual harassment allegations

TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2011 /CNW/ - Former Calgary police chief Christine Silverberg says the RCMP needs to establish an independent third-party investigation into allegations of sexual harassment brought forward by a female corporal in the force.

Silverberg made the call during her remarks last night at the annual Democracy and Journalism lecture sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation and the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.

"When you have an institution, such as the RCMP, I would advise a third-party independent investigation, because otherwise the complainant is not going to feel as though she's had a fair shake in terms of the investigation," she said.

Silverberg added the investigator needs to have a broad mandate and the respect of outsiders as well as the person making the allegations. "The mandate has to provide the scope not just to investigate a single incident of sexual harassment but a mandate to come up with recommendations that may or may not go beyond a single incident," said the first woman to head a major Canadian police force.

Said Silverberg: "It ought not to be relegated to somebody to deal with as a disciplinary offence. It must be considered a priority to not only investigate the incident and deal with that issue from an employee relations perspective but also to ensure that systems are in place to right what is probably a systemic issue."

After a five-year term as Chief of the Calgary Police Service, Silverberg retired in 2000, went to law school and now practises in Calgary.

Image with caption: "Former Calgary police chief Christine Silverberg addresses a crowd at the Democracy and Journalism lecture sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. The event was co-hosted by professor Robert Steiner (pictured right) and CJF chair Robert Lewis. (Photo: Roger Cullman) (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation) (CNW Group/News - Media)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111111_C5116_PHOTO_EN_6548.jpg

SOURCE News - Media

For further information:

Media Contact:
Wendy Kan
Program Manager
Canadian Journalism Foundation
416-955-0394 x502
wkan@cjf-fjc.ca


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