Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is working with the RCMP to make sure it is upholding members’ human rights.
“It is unacceptable for anyone to be removed from their job and their livelihood on the basis of disability,” Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver on Wednesday.
“We need to make sure that men and women who serve in our RCMP or in any institution have full opportunities to continue to serve regardless of disabilities.”
The comments were made following a Global News investigation that revealed allegations that the RCMP has for years wrongfully sought to eject disabled members from the force. The RCMP denies this and a spokesperson said “dismissal is a last resort.”
It has been five years since the RCMP employment requirements were changed to allow dismissals on the basis of disability. In that time, the number of medical discharges has nearly doubled, according to a Global News analysis.
Lawyer Sebastien Anderson, whose Vancouver-based firm has provided legal advice to roughly three dozen RCMP officers with disabilities who have been discharged or who are in the process of being discharged, alleges “a conspiracy” on the part of the force — a charge the Mounties deny.
Anderson has successfully helped one Mountie who was let go after suffering from PTSD in the wake of the Mayerthorpe, Alta., shootings that killed four of his colleagues.
WATCH: ‘The RCMP does not support its members’ – Former Mountie claims he was forced out
The force’s own statistics show the number of medical discharges jumped to 1,122 in the years between 2014-15 and 2018-19 from just 592 officers who left under the same circumstances in a longer period between 2007-8 and 2013-14.
Global News shared the stories of others: Sue Olson, Marina Cumming, Patti Reid, Thomas Deliva, Ryan Letnes, Ritchie Sue, and Chris Williams.