RCMP headed to court in harassment case

Mountie is taking the National Police to court over a harassment complaint she says was improperly dismissed by the RCMP’s new independent claims system.

Nicole Patapov, an eight-year veteran of the RCMP, began a federal judicial review of the Independent Center for Harassment Resolution decision on March 17.

The incident is said to have occurred on June 8, 2021, according to court documents. As Patapov was completing her firearms training and her assessment, her commander harassed her with her “misogynistic, disrespectful, offensive, disrespectful, insulting and unnecessary” remarks. she claims.

The court filing alleges that RCMP line officer Paul Christensen told Patapov, “Go home, get a bottle of Windex, and enter the house.” [her] Start cleaning the kitchen and bathroom” and “to strengthen the trigger finger”.

This comment came after Patapov refused to practice firing the gun without ammunition before testing in order to conserve stamina.

The RCMP officers passed the exam, but continued “sexist, misogynist and grossly inappropriate” behavior in the parking lot, according to court documents.

As she was walking to her car, Christensen followed her and called her name from about 25 meters away, yelling, “I didn’t even recognize you!”

“Oh!” says Patapov told her. “I love your hair!”

The comment made her “very uncomfortable”.

On August 1, 2021, Patapov filed a complaint with the ICHR. The new system, touted as “an important step in addressing workplace harassment and violence,” was launched a month ago.

Rodger Linka, a Regina-based litigator, has been appointed by the ICHR to investigate the complaint. Six months later, Linka dismissed the complaint as it did not meet the “definition of harassment.”

In a recommendation to the RCMP, Linker wrote that the military was “on track for a major change in operations” and that “old-style actions and comments may be used during this transition.” It is inevitable that there will be, and will continue to be,” he added. I hope that’s not the case in the future as members are getting better education. “

Patapov’s attorney, Sebastian Anderson, said: “This decision falls on deaf ears.

Labor rights lawyers blamed the IHRC. “New name, new process, same results. No real change.”

Patapov’s judicial review states that Linka’s “conclusion is fatally flawed or unreasonable.”

Investigators defined the Canadian Labor Council’s definition of harassment, adopted by the RCMP, as “any action, conduct, including of a sexual nature, that could reasonably be expected to cause crime, humiliation, or other physical or mental harm; or comments or ills to employees, including prescribed actions, actions or comments.

Linka did not respond to interview requests from CTV News.

Shortly after Patapov received the decision, ICHR told her that Linka was “removed from the list of investigators authorized to investigate the complaint.”

“The RCMP cannot discuss the individual circumstances of RCMP members,” Robin Percival of RCMP National Communications Services wrote in an email. “Similarly, the matter is in court, so we have limited information available at this time.”

According to the National Police Federation’s 2022 annual report, there have been 700 complaints since the new RCMP harassment resolution system went into effect about two years ago.

200 of these cases have been concluded and 175 have not yet been assigned to investigators. The report said there were concerns about “timeliness, quality of investigations and investigators.”

ICHR has also received permission to hire more investigators to deal with the “large backlog of files.”

“RCMP takes all allegations of harassment and discrimination seriously and is committed to fostering a safe and respectful workplace,” Percival said in a statement. “We continue to encourage anyone who feels they have been the victim of inappropriate behavior to report it.”

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