Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act (Bill C-42)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend for a very good presentation setting out all the issues that are before us in this bill.

The bill certainly is a step in the right direction, but I must agree with my hon. friend that there needs to be more, perhaps a civilian oversight body, going along with these proposed improvements in legislation.

The member raised the issue of women in the RCMP who faced sexual discrimination and had their careers ended. I have talked to some of those women and they say it is somewhat of a convenient myth that there is systemic sexism within the RCMP. They say their experience is that there are one or two bad apples who keep being promoted and do not get punished. Therefore, the overall message is that if one speaks up, one’s career will end and that the person causing grief will continue on a career path by perhaps moving sideways or to another detachment.

I would like my hon. friend’s comments on how we can protect women in the RCMP so that they do not face sexual discrimination and harassment.

Malcolm Allen: Mr. Speaker, I understand that the folks the member has talked to say that they do not believe it is systemic, but what I witnessed in the auto sector in the mid-1970s is indeed exactly the same thing within RCMP. It was systemic.

If someone is being told they will be promoted or will be moved sideways, it is the system that is doing that. The system is saying that it is okay for them to do what they did and that it will just shuffle them and put them in a different place, and that it will do so again.

The issue is that we actually have to stop it. We have to have the leadership to say that if this continues the person will not be there any more. It is not good enough to simply say “Oops, that was nasty“, and give them a slap on the wrist and a promotion to do something else. Rather, this issue has to be condemned and must be ended.

Where women and men are in the workplace, they must always be equal. They can be nothing less than equals. We put a stop to it when men in an organization, and I say this with purpose, actually accept women as equals in the workplace.