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Some of what was said Thursday about RCMP's landmark harassment settlement

October 06, 2016 - 12:47 PM

OTTAWA - Some of what was said Thursday when RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson apologized and announced the details of a settlement with a group of female Mounties who alleged widespread bullying, abuse and sexual harassment dating back to 1974:

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"I stand humbly before you and solemnly offer our sincere apology. You came to the RCMP wanting to personally contribute to your community and we failed you. We hurt you. For that, I am truly sorry." — RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

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"I must also apologize to all Canadians. I know how disappointed you've been with the force as you heard some of these very public and shameful examples of disgraceful conduct within our ranks." — Paulson.

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"This is a great day for myself, for women in the RCMP, women in Canada. It's a good day for the RCMP. It's a turning point. I have total faith that this is the beginning of a new era, hopefully a better era." — Janet Merlo, a former Mountie who led a class-action suit against the force.

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"They just wanted it to be a better place to work a place for their daughters to want to work: a good career, a beautiful career, and for that I'm very thankful that today finally arrived." — Merlo, speaking of the other women who joined her suit.

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"I spent 27, almost 28 years in the force. I loved it. I did not love some of the things that occurred." — Linda Gillis Davidson, who led a second lawsuit.

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"Commissioner Paulson, thank you. I sincerely mean that. Thank you on my behalf and on behalf of the women I represent here today. It takes a great person to acknowledge something wrong, especially when you represent the RCMP. Sir ... you are an honourable person." — Davidson to Paulson.

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"I know how important it is for the women involved to talk about their experiences to someone who they believe will demonstrate compassion and listen to them. I intend to do my best to be that person." — Michel Bastarache, the retired Supreme Court of Canada justices who will oversee the compensation process.

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"The claims process is designed to ensure confidentiality to all claimants and to obtain compensation, when warranted, without confrontation or acrimony and without undue delay." — Bastarache.

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"Today's announcement ... closes the door on a deeply troubling and unfortunate period in the history of our national police force. It is an encouraging moment, demonstrating a deep desire on the part of all parties to move forward in a positive and constructive manner — starting immediately." — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

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"All RCMP members and employees should feel safe and respected among their colleagues and their superiors, yet as is being publicly acknowledged today, that has not always been the case." — Goodale.

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"Each and every Canadian is looking at the settlement as a sign of truth and reconciliation on how women in the Force were treated and the fact that we recognize harm was done." — Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk.

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"You can hear the sincerity and the goal of making the RCMP a place where every girl, every women in our great country sees hope and possibility that they, too, can be part of a service that we're all proud of." — Mihychuk.

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"It's very important that we recognize the bravery of the two complainants, who represent so many women on the job." — Mihychuk.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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