Ralph Goodale Asks Watchdog To Revisit Bullying Within RCMP

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OTTAWA — The federal public safety minister is asking the RCMP watchdog to revisit the issue of bullying and harassment within the national police force.

Ralph Goodale says he has invited the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP to look at whether recommendations it made three years ago have been implemented.

Last week the minister expressed outrage to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson when allegations surfaced about unwanted sexual touching, bullying and rampant nudity in the workplace at the explosives training unit of the Canadian Police College in Ottawa.

In a 2013 report, the watchdog over the RCMP said the force must take swift and effective action on complaints of workplace bullying and harassment to restore the shaken confidence of both members and the public.

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Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale responds to a question during question period on Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

It called for a more independent process, strict timelines for responding to accusations and force-wide training on the issue.

Since then, new legislation has revamped the way such cases are handled within the force and training has also been stepped up.

Goodale says the latest review will assess the adequacy, appropriateness and clarity of RCMP policies, procedures and guidelines to prevent and address allegations regarding workplace harassment at the RCMP.

The Mounties have pledged zero tolerance for harassment.

Paulson told a Commons committee Tuesday that the force has grappled with a bullying and intimidation problem — "there's no question about that'' — but he stressed that it had made strides.

Goodale says stories of harassment within the police force are demoralizing.

"I think everyone from top to bottom in the RCMP will want to make sure that what we have there is a safe, secure working place where members of the force, civilian employees, members of the general public feel fully valued and properly respected as they should be."

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