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RCMP apologizes for harassment, sexual misconduct in workplace

Sexual harassment in the RCMP workplace will not be tolerated, Commissioner Bob Paulson says.
Sexual harassment in the RCMP workplace will not be tolerated, Commissioner Bob Paulson says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

OTTAWA – The RCMP will launch a national effort to eliminate sexual misconduct in the workplace after a review criticized the police force’s response to a case involving nudity and harassment.

READ MORE: RCMP misconduct cases more than double after new process implemented

The RCMP acknowledges its initial investigations were “fraught with missed opportunities” to effectively deal with the misconduct, protect the victims and witnesses and heal the workplace.

WATCH: Hundreds of former, current RCMP officers allege gender discrimination, bullying, harassment

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says he accepts the review’s 28 recommendations, made public today, and is apologizing to those who experienced distress.

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In February, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale expressed outrage to Paulson when allegations surfaced about unwanted sexual touching, bullying and rampant nudity in the explosives training unit of the police college in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Updated RCMP code of conduct may include new anti-harassment measures

In a 2013 report, the watchdog over the RCMP said the force must take swift and effective action on complaints of workplace bullying and harassment to reassure both members and the public.

The force says today it must continue to strengthen and promote workplace wellness, ensure RCMP employees are safe from harassment and give them confidence in the internal processes to address misconduct.