So the federal and British Columbia governments have decided to deny that the sexual harassment claims by RCMP Corporal Catherine Galliford. Now Ottawa and Victoria accuse Catherine Galliford of being an alcoholic who refused treatment, as well as the force’s efforts to distance Corporal Galliford from a male officer she alleges committed harassment.
Why now? Why, if the RCMP was going to adopt this position re Galliford’s charges was the denial of the Corporal’s accusations not filed and made public earlier? Why would RCMP Commissioner Paulson have told a media outlet that the force’s credibility and perhaps very existence depended on sexual harassment (charges) ending? If memory serves, the Commissioner made that statement in December of last year. Subsequently Canadians have been made aware of additional charges of sexual misconduct brought by former female officers against male members of the force. Officers in question were docked pay and reduced in rank. The Commissioner wrote an open letter to the Canadian people and committed to properly addressing abusive behaviour within the ranks. The Commissioner also warned that further troublesome cases would be revealed.
Now, many months after the initial media interview by Commissioner Paulson the attack on the credibility of Cpl Galliford and denial of the charges she leveled appear in public. Curious timing?
Corporal Galliford has spoken of her PTSD (on my program and elsewhere). Is the expectation of both Ottawa and Victoria that Ms. Galliford may be too emotionally fragile to face attacks on her credibility? Is it a shot across the bows of current or former female officers who may be considering filing their own sexual harassment claims, or joining the class-action suit already underway?
Taking an aggressive position against the woman who first raised the issue of harassment may be a case of forming a circle and firing inward.
A question Ottawa and Victoria should be dealing with is why, if Cathrine Galliford was identified as an alcoholic, was she permitted to refuse treatment? Generically, wouldn’t a police officer living with alcoholism face a requirement for treatment of the condition? Might Corporal Galliford’s dependence on alcohol have been caused by the emotional challenge and stressful reality of dealing with alleged multi-year sexual harassment victimization?
I will be covering this on Saturday’s program. Follow me on Twitter @TheRoyGreenShow for program updates and more.