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“The first case, all of the women worked for the federal government and a substantial number of them were in policing positions with the RCMP,” explained Klein.
“In this case, a lot of the women actually work for municipalities, regions, provinces or non-profits and they work in RCMP-controlled environments with the RCMP but they’re not federal employees, making it not as cohesive or well-connected.”
There are also fears associated with retribution and lack of confidentiality that discourage some women from coming forward with “traumatic and very difficult” stories, he said.
But Klein emphasized there are a host of safeguards in place to ensure women’s identities and the nature of their claims are “completely protected.”
Only 306 claims had been received, as of Thursday, with another 60 claims assigned to assessors and five rendered.
Klein said the same horrifying stories are being heard from plaintiffs in this case, similar to those identified during the first settlement related to rape, sexual assault, harassment and misogyny.
In the Merlo-Davidson settlement, 2,304 women were compensated and 782 claims were denied. In total, $125,266,500 was paid to claimants.
A report titled “Broken Dreams Broken Lives” was released in relation to the implementation of the settlement agreement.
It stated: “The culture of the RCMP is toxic and tolerates misogynistic and homophobic attitudes amongst its leaders and members. This culture has resulted in incalculable damage to female members of the RCMP as well as those working for the public service.”