OTTAWA— A Federal Court has approved a proposed $100-million settlement of two massive class action RCMP harassment lawsuits, a plan that could quietly resolve the complaints of more than 1,000 women.
Once a 30-day appeal period ends, female Mounties who endured workplace harassment in the past 43 years may apply to have their complaint privately evaluated, and compensation paid out, via an independent confidential and non-adversarial assessment process headed by retired Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache.
Payments could range from $20,000 to $220,000 per claim. Judge Ann Marie McDonald’s ruling Tuesday said it is a fair and reasonable agreement that is in the best interests of all women in the class “as a whole.”
But for individuals who had pursued separate legal claims and have not yet had their day in court, like Atoya Montague, there is no resolution. Montague is a civilian employee in B.C. who sued the RCMP in 2013 alleging sexual harassment. Now she’s also battling RCMP efforts to fire her.
Montague says despite a scathing report by former auditor general Sheila Fraser that examined the RCMP’s handling of Montague’s claim and that of three others, she is no further ahead.