Canada has filed a Statement of Defence in the Corriveau v Canada class action.
In January 2018, the Corriveau v Canada class action was filed on behalf of all individuals who were allegedly sexually assaulted or subjected to inappropriate and unnecessary procedures during mandatory applicant medical examinations by a physician designated by the RCMP. Two particular doctors who worked for the RCMP between 1979 and 1991, Dr. John A. MacDougall, and between 1981 and 2003, Dr. Donald Campbell, are named in the class action. The litigation was certified as a class action in March 2021 on consent of the parties.
In the Statement of Defence, the RCMP admits vicarious liability (i.e. liability for the actions of its employees) for any assault or battery committed by Drs. MacDougall and Campbell, including sexual assault and battery, that occurred during the Applicant's Examinations.
While the RCMP accepts liability for the actions of these two doctors, many class members (including the Representative Plaintiff) have been awarded or are potentially eligible for disability benefits under the RCMP Superannuation Act and Pension Act for injuries stemming from their applicant examinations. These class members are barred by the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act from suing the Crown in respect of these same injuries or losses.
This bar against litigation applies only to those class members who were appointed as members of the RCMP and are eligible for those benefits. It is not being asserted against any class member who was not appointed as a member of the RCMP.
Filing a Statement of Defence does not preclude the parties from discussing potential ways to try to resolve this matter. Discussions with class counsel are ongoing.
The RCMP takes all allegations of sexual assault, violence and inappropriate behaviour seriously. We continue to encourage anyone who feels they are the victim of inappropriate behaviour to report it. The wellbeing of our employees is a top priority, and we are committed to providing a safe and respectful workplace for all. The RCMP has resources available for employees and their dependents. If you are not an employee of the RCMP and are in need of help, we would encourage you to seek resources available in your area.