Frequently Asked Questions

RCMP Class Action

What is the proposed settlement about?

The proposed settlement provides a host of change initiatives aimed at eliminating gender harassment and discrimination in the RCMP and a compensation program for women who experienced harassment or discrimination while working in the RCMP.

What conduct is covered?

For the purpose of the settlement, harassment means improper conduct in the workplace by any Regular Member, Special Constable, Cadet, Auxiliary Constable, Special Constable Member, Reserve Member, Civilian Member, Public Service Employee, including any Temporary Civilian Employee, working within the RCMP, male or female, that is directed at and offensive to another Regular Member, Special Constable, Cadet, Auxiliary Constable, Special Constable Member, Reserve Member, Civilian Member, Public Service Employee, including Temporary Civilian Employee working within the RCMP, including, but not limited to, at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual engaging in such improper conduct knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s) comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. H-6, based on sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and family status. Harassment can be a series of incidents but can also be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual. Harassment by members of the public is not harassment for the purposes of the settlement. In the settlement, “Harassment” refers collectively to gender and sexual orientation based harassment, gender and sexual orientation based discrimination, and sexual assault, including physical assault in the course of conduct constituting harassment.

What time period applies?

The settlement covers harassment that occurred during the Class Period. The Class Period is September 16, 1974 to the date the proposed settlement receives court approval.

Who can apply for compensation?

The proposed settlement includes any woman who is a current or former Member, Civilian Member or Public Service Employee within the RCMP who suffered harassment or discrimination on the job. This includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members, Reserve Members, Public Service Employees, Civilian Members and Temporary Civilian Employees.

I am receiving Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) pension benefits. Can I apply for compensation?

Yes. A VAC pension is not considered “prior compensation” under the proposed settlement. Individuals receiving VAC pension benefits are eligible to apply for compensation under the settlement, and VAC pension benefits are not deducted from compensation payable under the settlement.

Do I need a lawyer?

You can file a claim on your own, or with the assistance of a lawyer. If you would like to contact us to discuss the possibility of having Klein Lawyers assist you with your claim, please complete the online contact form or contact us by e-mail for more information about this proposed settlement. You can also reach us by phone at 604-714-6159.

Can I hire Klein Lawyers if I live in another province?

Yes. Klein Lawyers represents clients from all across Canada.

I already started a harassment lawsuit against the RCMP. Can I apply for compensation under the proposed settlement?

Yes, but you must discontinue the lawsuit to be eligible for compensation under the settlement. If you have an existing harassment lawsuit against the RCMP, and you do not discontinue that lawsuit before the opt-out deadline, you will be deemed to have opted out of the class action. The opt-out deadline has not yet been set; we will post it to the Klein Lawyers website as soon as it is known. Please talk to your lawyer if you have an existing lawsuit against the RCMP concerning gender and/or sexual orientation-based harassment and discrimination. Lawsuits against the RCMP do not include grievance complaints or human rights complaints.

What if I don’t want to participate in the proposed settlement?

No one is required to submit a claim. There is nothing you have to do to signify that you are not going to submit a claim. However, if you do not want to participate in the class action because you want to file a separate harassment lawsuit against the RCMP, you must complete an opt-out form and submit it prior to the opt out deadline. The deadline will be posted to the Klein Lawyers website as soon as it is known. Lawsuits against the RCMP do not include grievance complaints or human rights complaints.

How do I make a claim? Are the claims forms available in French?

If the proposed settlement receives court approval, then Notice of the Settlement Approval will be mailed to potential claimants and posted on our website. Class Members who wish to participate in the settlement will submit a confidential claim form describing their experiences, along with any documentation supporting their claim to an independent court-appointed Assessor, Justice Michel Bastarache, C.C., Q.C.
Claims forms in both English and French will be available once the settlement is approved.

How much time do I have to submit my claim?

Claims must be submitted within 180 days (6 months) of the first publication of the Notice of Settlement Approval. The Notice will be published after the settlement receives court approval.

Will my confidentiality be protected?

The RCMP will not receive a copy your claim. The settlement is designed to protect the claimants’ confidentiality. Only the Assessor and those who work in his office will know the details of your claim. The Assessor and his staff are not employees of the RCMP or of the Government of Canada. No information provided by a Claimant will be transmitted to the RCMP or the Government of Canada. All information provided by the Claimants to the Assessor will be destroyed six months after the last appeal deadline.

Will I have to testify in public?

No. Claims at levels 1 and 2 will be assessed on the documentation provided. There will be interviews with the Assessor for claimants at levels 3 to 6. All interviews with the Assessor will be conducted in a confidential manner. The interviews are not open to the public. Claimants may bring a friend, family member, or treating physician to the interview for moral support.

Who will conduct the claim interviews?

Subject to approval by the court, the Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C., Q.C. will act as the independent Assessor. Michel Bastarache is a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who has experience assessing claims of this nature. He is highly regarded for his fairness and compassion. The Assessor operates with complete autonomy and independence; he does not report to the RCMP or the Government of Canada. These interviews can be conducted in English or French.

The Assessor will retain the services of the professionals necessary to assist him in accomplishing his mandate. All are sworn to secrecy and held to respect the confidentiality of the files.

How will the compensation amounts be decided?

Compensation ranges are pre-set in the proposed compensation scheme, and range from $10,000 to $220,000. There are 6 categories of compensation ranging from mild to severe based on the gravity of the acts of harassment and the damage caused. The Assessor will complete an analysis of each claim and will provisionally place each case in one of the six categories. Level 1 and 2 claims will be evaluated based on the documentary proof provided by the Claimants. Level 3 to 6 Claims will be determined based on documentary proof and an interview with the Assessor.

What documents do I need? Should I order my RCMP file?

All cases are determined on a case by case basis. Supporting documents, such as medical records or personnel files, can be submitted with a claim however they are not necessary at this time. If a lawyer is assisting you with your claim, we suggest that you speak with your lawyer prior to ordering any documents.

Is there anyone that can assist me in French?

Our firm provides limited French assistance. We are able to translate documents into English to assist in the claim process. Interviews with the lawyers will largely be conducted in English.

Will my family be able to claim?

Current spouses and current or former children of Primary Claimants who are approved at levels 5 or 6 are eligible for compensation under the settlement.

* The answers in this FAQ provide summary information about the settlement.  Full details are in the Settlement Agreement and Appendixes to the Agreement.  These FAQs are not a substitute for legal advice.  For advice about the settlement, you should contact the Office of the Assessor or your lawyer.