RCMP Should Drop Harassment Appeal and End Victimization of Sgt. Merrifield

VANCOUVER, April 4, 2017 /CNW/ - "RCMP management should drop its appeal in the case of Sgt. Peter Merrifield, an RCMP member who was subjected to harassment on the job," the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) said today.

"The RCMP's leadership has learned absolutely nothing from the recent series of harassment Allegations," said Rob Creasser, Media Liaison for MPPAC. "If it is going to restore the public's faith and its own integrity, the first step would be to drop the appeal and respect the court's order to pay damages to an officer who has been harassed."

In a March 1, 2017 ruling, Justice Mary Vallee described the treatment of Sgt. Merrifield as "outrageous." She awarded him $141,000 for lost wages, delayed advancement, and "harassment and intentional infliction of mental suffering" and ordered the RCMP to pay his legal costs. By appealing, RCMP management is clearly not acting in the public interest.

"Once again public finances, via the Department of Justice, are being used to deal with cases of systemic and egregious harassment within the RCMP," Creasser said. This case reinforces, yet again, the need for RCMP members to have an independent certified union.

"RCMP members have won the right to unionize but have met resistance from successive governments in attempting to exercise this right," Creasser said. "It appears that the Government of Canada and the RCMP have no plans to deal with systemic harassment within the RCMP. Despite the recent class action suit by female victims of harassment and sexual harassment which is estimated to cost more than $100 million - a cost which will be borne by the Canadian taxpayer."

The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada has represented thousands of members in the past and continues to represent members today. MPPAC continues to support Members who have been intimidated and bullied in the workplace. MPPAC is calling on the Public Safety Minister to work collaboratively with us towards reducing the significant harm and mental suffering which continues to impact our members nation-wide. 

SOURCE Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada

For further information: Rob Creasser, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne Professionnelle de la Police Montée, T:(250) 371-1071, E: national@mppac.ca; Terry McKee, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne Professionnelle de la Police Montée, T: (506) 850-3907, E: national@mppac.ca

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