Canada’s Prime Minister Expected to Directly Punish Cops for Sexual Assault, the Opposite of What American Presidents Do


Four women are suing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for sexual harassment and sexual assault and they have asked Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for help. Trudeau is expected by many to get involved and help by directly ensuring that the officers in question are held accountable.

Two of these victims, Susan Gastaldo and Atoya Montegue have already been fired from their respective roles at RCMP; the remaining two, Alex Fox and Catherine Galliford are afraid they may well be next.

All of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. They have had to hire their own lawyers to pursue the court case.

“You should be locked in a room”

Fox was ostracized and bullied by her boss, staff Sergeant Marc Alexander who she had caught committing fraud on the job. She suffered years of embarrassing comments and behavior.

Her claim states that the harassment left her with lifelong damage and irreversible harm.
Fox had always suffered from learning disabilities, which can be noticed through her poor handwriting and spelling.

After she advised Alexander of her disability almost a decade ago he told her that he thought she suffered from attention deficit disorder and “should be locked in a room”.

In 2007, Fox was transferred to the integrated road safety unit where she was one of the top employees.

However, as soon as Alexander joined the unit as her commanding officer things took a turn for the worse.

He would embarrass her in front of her co-workers for her handwriting and ordered her to come into work on her days off. He even told her that she would not receive any overtime because of a file backlog.

In 2013, she was being considered for the position of an instructor and was invited to an event in that capacity.

When Alexander heard of this, he said to her: “You can’t teach, your mind is all over the place, what makes you think you can teach.”

Finally, she requested to be transferred from the unit. Her bullying supervisor did not take kindly to this and told her that he was going to take several penalizing steps against her.

At the end of January 2013 she was placed on sick leave and six months later Alexander was transferred from the unit. However, this did not rectify his hounding ways; he ordered another employee to encourage public complaints against her.

“Lost all credibility”

In 2009 Gastaldo, who suffered from an anxiety disorder, says her boss, staff Sergeant Travis Pearson forced himself on her while the two were in a police car during work hours. He coerced her into having sex with him. The RCMP found both guilty of disgraceful misconduct in 2012.

Pearson was the first one to face a hearing. He claimed the relationship was consensual. The adjudicators decided he would be penalized with 10 days worth of pay and would have to undergo counseling.

In her hearing, Gastaldo claimed that her former boss pressurized her into having sex.
However, in an arguably unbalanced decision, a three-member male only panel ordered Gastaldo to be fired and she lost seven days’ pay.

The board concluded that she was lying.

“The crux of the matter is that she has levelled a false allegation against Staff Sergeant Pearson and she has lost all credibility,” they wrote.

A year later the charges against her were dropped.

“I had no one to go to”

Galliford, a former RCMP spokeswoman and a stellar employee involved in helping out with high-profile cases, says for years she suffered sexual abuse, assaults, threats and bullying at work.

She adds coming forward with details of abuse takes a lot of courage.

“I definitely was not prepared to lose my house, I wasn’t prepared to lose my life savings. I think the members of the RCMP want to complain about the harassment have to be prepared to pay for their own legal counsels; while they are defendants, the people that they are accusing, the people that have hurt them are going to be funded by the RCMP and the federal government and taxpayers’ money”

While the authorities have confirmed that they are footing at least part of the defendants’ bill, they are not ready to divulge the exact amount.

Galliford, who suffers from chronic post-traumatic disorder, says the reason she did not tell anyone about what she had gone through was because she thought no one would want to listen to her story.

“I had no one to go to,”she added.

“If I had a dime every time a boss asked me to sit on his knees, I’d be in a yacht in the Bahamas right now”.

“It made me sick”

Montegue was a senior communications strategist and a civilian employee of the RCMP.
She says on a regular basis another higher-ranking official would be in her office asking to have sex with her. He would often say to her: “turn around Atoya, let me see your ass”.

For Montague, the repeated mistreatment broke her as a person. She revealed that at least two people she had known in her 13-year tenure at the RCMP always turned the course of a conversation into a sexual context. She reiterates that she had never had a single discussion with them without a sexual innuendo coming up.

“I believed all those years that I was strong enough and I’m dismissing this,” she commented.

“But it did it at me and it made me sick and that’s a really important message for women -don’t tolerate this.”

Why is coming forward a risk?

Filing a lawsuit is not just a professional risk; there are also financial concerns associated.

All four women say it is a certain section of the law, which allows government employers to fire troublemakers, that is being used against them.

Now, they are asking the new Prime Minister to do away with this legislation in order to encourage others who have suffered abuse within RCMP to step forward.

The PM is expected by many to get involved and hold the officers accountable, the opposite of what presidents in America do.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4109 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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