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The bid to certify a class action lawsuit against the RCMP is now officially underway.
During the first court hearing for the suit, lawyers for former Constable Janet Merlo outlined their case, which is being launched on behalf of current and former female RCMP members, civilian members, and staff who have suffered harassment and gender-based discrimination.
Lawyer David Klein says the next hearings won't take place until next year, as they wait for the federal and provincial governments to file motions.
"We're a little disappointed that the RCMP has decided they want to strike certain portions of the case, not because there's no legitimacy to those portions of the claim, rather because they dont' seem to fit the profile of a class action."
Those motions will be filed in September, and include the claim governments aren't responsible for "systemic harassment" -- only the actions of individual officers.
Valerie MacLean is one former RCMP officer who has expressed interest in joining any class action lawsuit.
She joined the force in 1977, but quit after two years, saying she suffered harassment at the hands of her supervisor, who threatened her with poor performance evaluations if she didn't have a relationship with him.
"Women were accepted to the RCMP in 1974, so I thought, well this is because we're new...and this was part of us sort of wondering what we should do about it? They're not used to women in the RCMP, but the fact that its still going on, and the stories are the same."
Despite claims from RCMP brass they are making changes, MacLean says she hasn't seen anything yet.