A Mountie whose harassment complaints against the RCMP prompted legislation to modernize so-called bad apples within the force says her employer is moving to dismiss her.
Cpl. Catherine Galliford says she received a letter saying the RCMP is seeking to discharge her because she’s unable to do her job.
Galliford, who has filed a civil lawsuit against the RCMP alleging years of bullying and sexual abuse, has been on sick leave since 2006.
Let’s follow the details. The CBC reports in November 2011.
CBC News has learned that one of B.C.’s highest profile Mounties says she’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after years of sexual harassment.
Cpl. Catherine Galliford was the face of the B.C. RCMP for years. During her tenure as the RCMP’s spokesperson, Galliford announced the arrest of Robert William Pickton and revealed charges had been laid in the Air India bombing.
But in an internal RCMP complaint, Galliford makes serious allegations about misconduct inside the RCMP. She shared the complaint with CBC News and spoke with reporter Natalie Clancy about her claims.
“Everything that came out of his [a supervisor's] mouth was sexual,” Galliford said. “If I had a dime for every time one of my bosses asked me to sit on his knee, I’d be on a yacht in the Bahamas right now.”
Galliford says she faced constant sexual advances from several senior officers from the moment she graduated from the RCMP Academy in 1991.
But surely she just reported them and it was all taken care of, right? Because that’s what always happens, right?
Galliford says the command and control structure at the RCMP means Mounties are instructed to do as they’re told, or risk getting reprimanded.
“If they can’t screw you, they are going to screw you over. And that’s what it became like and so I started to normalize the harassment because I didn’t know what else to do,” she said.
“It just got to the point that after I had about 16 years of service, I broke. I completely broke.”
In 2007, Galliford joined the ranks of 225 B.C. Mounties who are currently off duty on sick leave.
“I’ve been off work for four years now and I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia and chemical dependency on occasion,” Galliford said.
Oh. Well…uh…it’s too late now! Yeah, that’s it. She waited too long.
Mike Webster, a consulting police psychologist in private practice, believes Galliford’s deteriorating health has little to do with the murder files she worked on, and is directly linked to the harassment she faced from colleagues on the job.
“I don’t think there’s a female in the outfit who hasn’t been approached sexually,” Webster said.
“The way her employer handled it afterwards is likely to have had a greater effect on her present mental state than what she went through initially.”
Oh. Uh…she shouldn’t have gone into police work in the first place?
Webster says Galliford’s allegations come as no surprise.
“Senior executives for decades have been accountable to no one and they’ve created a toxic work environment, high levels of employee stress and a culture of fear,” Webster said.
“It’s causing a tremendous effect on the morale of the RCMP, so the grievance process doesn’t help them at all. What are they going to do? They turn to ODS, off duty sick … the RCMP membership calls it ‘off duty mad.'”
Oh. Uh…I’m all out of excuses.