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RCMP Racism FAQs

What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit alleges that racialized individuals who currently work or formerly worked for or with the RCMP were subjected to widespread systemic racism (racism and racist acts on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour or religion) by RCMP non-racialized members and RCMP management and that the RCMP breached their Charter rights and failed to ensure that they could serve their country in an environment free of racism.

What is meant by “racialized individuals”?

The term “racialized individuals” used in this lawsuit refers to individuals who are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour or religion.

What is meant by “racism and racist acts”?

The lawsuit alleges that racialized individuals were subjected to racism and racists acts. This means that racialized individuals were treated differently by their non-racialized RCMP colleagues and RCMP management, including but not limited to:

  1. explicit and demeaning comments made about their race, national or ethnic origin, religion and/or colour;
  2. implicit and explicit comments dismissing their ability to carry out their duties because of their race, national or ethnic origin, religion and/or colour;
  3. non-racialized members of equivalent rank/experience receiving greater accommodation on sick leave, vacation requests, shift changes and transfer requests;
  4. non-racialized members of equivalent rank/experience assigned to more complex, high-profile files and tasks, receiving better career training, education, counselling and mentorship, receiving more positive performance reviews, and being more likely to be considered for promotion.

These actions had a demeaning and humiliating effect on, and/or limited the careers of, racialized individuals.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that groups people with a common claim together against the same defendant. Class action suits allow people whose voices might otherwise go unheard to fight together for a common interest. For more information on class action lawsuits visit https://www.callkleinlawyers.com/class-actions/.

How can I join the lawsuit?

At this stage of the lawsuit there is no requirement to “join” or to make your name public. 

If you are a racialized individual who works, or during the Class Period worked,  for or with the RCMP as a Regular Member, Civilian Member, Special Constable, Cadet, Pre-Cadet, Auxiliary Constable, Special Constable Member, Reservist, Public Service Employee, including Temporary Civilian Employee, municipal employee, regional District Employee, non-profit employee, volunteer, Commissionaire, Supernumerary Special Constable, consultant, contractor, student, member of integrated policing unit, person from an outside agency and police force who was supervised or managed by the RCMP or who worked in an RCMP controlled workplace and you would like to confidentially add your name to receive our updates about this class action, please complete the online form here.  

The Class Period is defined as April 17, 1985 (when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,section 15 came into force) to the date this action is certified as a class proceeding.

No lawyer-client, advisory or fiduciary relationship is created by communicating your name to receive updates about this class action.

An important step in a class action lawsuit is “certification.” After a certification hearing, the court will review the proposed class action and if it agrees it meets the legal test for certification, the court will permit (“certify”) the lawsuit as a class action.  At that time, a definition of who qualifies as a “class member” will be decided. It can take a matter of years to prepare for the certification hearing. Information regarding the dates of the certification hearing will be posted on this website and emailed to persons who completed the online form. Only after certification will class members formally join the lawsuit by registering with counsel.

Who is being sued in this lawsuit?

The government of Canada is the defendant in this lawsuit.

Does this lawsuit affect racialized individuals outside British Columbia?

Yes. This lawsuit is brought on behalf of all racialized individuals in Canada who currently work or formerly worked for or with the RCMP, thus regardless of their province of residence.

Does this lawsuit affect French Canadians that are discriminated against because of language?

No. This lawsuit does not affect individuals who have been subjected to discrimination based on their francophone or other linguistic affiliation.

Does this lawsuit affect individuals who have been subjected to ageism or sexism?

No. This lawsuit does not affect individuals who have been subjected to discrimination based on their age or gender.

If I qualified for the Merlo-Davidson RCMP class action or qualify for the Tiller RCMP class action, will I also be able to qualify for the RCMP racism class action?

Yes. If you qualified for compensation under the Merlo-Davidson class action or  the Tiller class action, you may also be able to qualify for the RCMP racism class action.  If you were subjected to racism or racist acts while working with or for the RCMP, please complete the online form.

Does this lawsuit exclude any claims individuals have that were resolved in the Merlo-Davidson RCMP class action and the Tiller RCMP class actions?

Yes. Claims involving gender or sexual orientation-based harassment and discrimination, which were resolved by the settlement agreements in the Merlo-Davidson RCMP class action and the Tiller RCMP class action are not included in this lawsuit.

Does this lawsuit include claims individuals may have in Greenwood and Gray v. HMTQ, FCTD T-1201-18 and in Delisle c. R., QCCS 500-06-000820-163?

No. Those claims are excluded from this lawsuit.  A class action involving workplace harassment and bullying in the RCMP was certified by the Federal Court in Greenwood and Gray v. HMTQ (“Greenwood”).  A class action involving workplace harassment and bullying in the RCMP due to linguistic affiliation or advocacy for freedom of association and unionization was authorized by the Quebec Superior Court in Delisle c. R (“Delisle”).  Claims that individuals may have in relation to those class actions are  not included in this lawsuit. 

I have already filed/I was going to file a grievance, lawsuit or claim. Should I continue with this?

You should seek legal advice with respect to your grievance, lawsuit or other claim. The RCMP racism class action lawsuit does not preclude you from continuing with a grievance, lawsuit or other claim. As the class action may take many years to conclude, we do not, at this time, know the final definition of the “class” or any other information in relation to the resolution of the issues raised in this class action lawsuit. 

This is not intended to be legal advice concerning your grievance, complaint or individual claim. You should seek legal advice before acting or omitting to act based upon any information provided here.

What are the major steps in a class action?

Each class action is unique but, in most cases, the major steps are as follows. The court will appoint a case management judge who is assigned to this lawsuit. This judge will oversee the case and hear the arguments made by the plaintiff and the RCMP (the “parties”). The parties will set a schedule leading to the certification hearing. At the certification hearing, the court will permit (“certify”) the case as a class action if several criteria are met, as outlined in the Federal Court Rules.  A “representative plaintiff”, whose job is to fairly and adequately represent the interest of the “class”, will also be appointed. Once certified, the lawsuit moves forward as a class action. Certification is then followed by a “common issues” trial where issues common to all class members are tried before a judge. If the plaintiff is successful in a common issues trial, a process is designed to decide issues that are unique to each individual class member’s claim. 

The parties may decide to negotiate a settlement of a class action at any time. Settlement negotiations are directed by the representative plaintiff.  The public will be notified if a settlement agreement is reached.  Settlement agreements in class actions must be approved by the court before they are considered final.

Appeals of class actions, especially certification decisions, are common.  These appeals delay the class action for many months.

How long will the lawsuit take?

Class action lawsuits typically take many years to resolve.

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