They say timing is everything.
They say that sometimes people need to read the room.
I bring up these two points because a weird thing happened this morning. Just as I was reading breaking news on our website about the RCMP paying a second (second!) $100 million gender and sexual harassment settlement, an email popped into my inbox about an RCMP recruiting seminar.
The previous $100 million settlement was in 2016. Today payout is for up to the same amount for as many as 1,500 women victimized while working or volunteering for the RCMP.
So, let’s do the math. Our nation’s police is now paying $200 million for its systemic abuse.
The two settlements are an admission of a widespread culture of ugliness in our nation’s police force. Women who have been victimized have spoken about suffering from PTSD, alcoholism and drug addiction. Some have committed suicide.
Oh, but hey, the RCMP is recruiting!
The email I received at the exact moment the news of the settlement was breaking was about a presentation in August out in the Fraser Valley at the RCMP’s Pacific Regional Training Centre in Chilliwack.
The news release talked about how the RCMP is hiring and that the organization “offers an exceptional career.”
Well, unless you are a woman. Then you could easily face a lifetime of harassment, pain and suffering. Oh, I know, the RCMP says these settlements are part of a fresh start for the RCMP! Changes have been made! It’s different now!
Colour me skeptical that a monolithic organization like the RCMP can just change that quick.
It’s good that there are more women who have been promoted into high-ranking positions. Burnaby RCMP is headed by a woman, Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh. Coquitlam RCMP just announced that a woman is the new officer-in-charge.
I do believe changes are being made. But if you’re a woman deciding on a career, would you really want to join an organization with this kind of track record?
I have mad respect for any woman who knows this, but still goes ahead because they aren’t going to let anyone stand in their way. For some, being a Mountie is a dream.
The RCMP don’t deserve you.
Follow Chris Campbell @shinebox44.