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RCMP response to lawsuit filed by former Musical Ride member

Ottawa, May 22, 2013 – There have been a number of stories in the media recently pertaining to a lawsuit filed by a former member of the RCMP Musical Ride. It is claimed that the RCMP did not properly investigate claims of abuse and harassment at the time of their alleged occurrence.

In 1987, the RCMP was made aware of and investigated this complaint.  As a result, certain members involved were disciplined and the inappropriate practices were banned.

The Ottawa Citizen of June 9, 1988, reported that RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster, at the time, publicly acknowledged the incident by saying, "To say that I am appalled and furious would be an understatement. Once we learned of it swift and appropriate action was taken."

The RCMP is disappointed to see that this is now coming to a civil claim, 25 years after the alleged events.  The complainant has only recently brought these issues forward once again.

The RCMP is committed to providing a harassment free workplace and continues to improve its handling of disciplinary issues in an efficient and effective manner.

Members' conduct -- both on-duty and off -- is governed by the RCMP Code of Conduct.  Any form of inappropriate behavior is not tolerated at the Musical Ride or anywhere else within the organization.

Any RCMP member found to have contravened the RCMP Code of Conduct may be disciplined. Depending on the seriousness of the contravention/incident, disciplinary actions can be informal or formal and sanctions vary in scope. In addition to facing internal discipline, members are subject to the same criminal law process as all Canadian citizens.

The Musical Ride remains a valued symbol of the good work RCMP members do every day across Canada.  In 2013, three female non-commissioned officers are responsible for training and leading ride members.  The 2013 Musical Ride is made up of 17 men and 18 women.

The RCMP will not comment further on matters currently before the courts.

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For more information, please contact:
RCMP Media Relations
613-843-5999