Kamloops Mountie sues force for ongoing harassment, abuse | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Mountie sues force for ongoing harassment, abuse

A Kamloops RCMP officer is suing the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada for the continual harassment and abuse she allegedly endured as a constable at the Kamloops RCMP detachment.

The plaintiff, Lisa Mackenzie, 45, entered the RCMP force in 2003 and alleges her ongoing harassment from various supervisors and coworkers started after she was transferred to Kamloops to be with her husband who was also a member, according to a notice of claim filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court.

The marriage between Mackenzie and her husband eventually ended. According to the claim, Mackenzie’s ex-husband visited her home while she was at work and kicked the door in. The plaintiff’s mother wrote a letter to  "Superintendent B” expressing her concerns and regarding the safety of her daughter and grandson.

According to the claim, the superintendent responded in writing and brushed off the concerns by stating, “there are two sides to every story.”

Mackenzie made a formal harassment complaint against RCMP management for missing safety concerns and improper investigation regarding the door-kicking incident, the claim says.

Mackenzie received no formal reply to her complaint and she ended up having to pay for the repairs and damages caused by her ex-husband.

In 2006, Mackenzie and a coworker reported to a supervisor of another sergeant who was making inappropriate comments regarding women. She was directed to attend a meeting with her two sergeants. This made her feel awkward as she had to repeat her concerns. The meeting ended without apology or any resolution or action of any sort, the claim says.

Mackenzie met with her supervisor to request a transfer back to Prince George due to financial and emotional stress. This request was supported by her family doctor and counsellor, the claim says.

The request was refused by “Sgt. B” who advised her she was “suitably posted.” Mackenzie’s home was foreclosed and she was forced to move in with a co-worker while sending her son to live with relatives in Prince George for a period of time.

One incident in 2007 involved Mackenzie being pulled off the road to meet with “Sgt. M” from Kelowna. He advised her to get her personal vehicle out of joint names with her ex-husband to her name alone. She was advised if she didn’t do this she could face a code of conduct investigation. A few days later she was served with six code of conduct allegations dating back to 2006.

Following this, Mackenzie was placed on sick leave by her family doctor. While on sick leave she as contacted by Sgt. M to see if she had removed her ex-husband’s name from the vehicle registration. This shocked Mackenzie and caused her distress as a result of the previous threat of a code of conduct investigation.

She sent a number of emails asking who directed Sgt. M to call her and received no response. She initiated a formal harassment complaint against Sgt. M. Months later, she received an email advising Sgt. M was willing to apologize. She responded that she felt it was insufficient.

In Aug. 2007, she returned to normal duties but was told she was no longer to be on the road, was restricted to administrative work and must remove her uniform before leaving the building. She was also informed that she was not allowed to attend court. This caused Mackenzie a great emotional setback as she was in increased contact with the coworkers she had filed complaints against.

She again requested a transfer and was advised she could not be transferred as long as the code of conduct investigation was in process.

She received a document for her signature indicating she was receiving a verbal discipline for an incident that occurred almost two years ago which was contrary to RCMP policy and guidelines regarding discipline.

One supervisor allegedly approached Mackenzie's coworkers and suggested that they not speak with her as she was a “negative member.” Mackenzie filed a formal harassment complaint against this supervisor as well.

She was eventually told by Sgt. B that she was not welcome in Kamloops and she would have to work at the Chase detachment if she wanted to work. This caused Mackenzie great stress as a result of issues with daycare and travel. She was also told her options for a transfer could either be Terrace or Williams Lake and that there were no other options.

Mackenzie married a different RCMP member in Kamloops and her new husband had an affair with his married supervisor identified in the claim as Corporal F.

Corporal F’s husband was also a staff sergeant in Kamloops. According to the claim, Mackenzie’s husband admitted some of the sexual encounters were during work hours.

Mackenzie told a supervisor what happened. She was told that both parties stated nothing happened and not to mention the affair to anyone to “avoid embarrassment to the RCMP." Mackenzie’s husband provided a statement admitting the sexual encounters during work hours on RCMP property and Cpl. F was suspended.

Following the incident, Mackenzie says she suffered continual harassment and abuse from Cpl. F who was eventually demoted to a constable. 

There was also one incident in which both Mackenzie and her husband responded to a call and were both ordered from the scene. They were told not to have contact with each other at work. According to the claim, there is no such policy or rule in the RCMP that prohibits spouses from such contacting one another.

Mackenzie is seeking general damages, special damages, past loss of income, future loss of income, diminished loss of earning capacity, loss of benefits as a member of the RCMP, loss of future pension benefits, and interest. The claim says Mackenzie is currently "disabled" from returning operationally to the RCMP and does not specify a dollar amount.

Mackenzie has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. She alleges the ongoing harassment has left her completely devastated and emotionally exhausted.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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