B.C. Mountie sues force for harassment

A prominent Mountie who came forward earlier this year with claims of widespread sexual harassment in the RCMP is now suing the force. Catherine Galliford claims she was sexually assaulted, harassed and abused throughout her 16-year career, according a statement of claim obtained by the CBC.

Maclean’s wrote about Galliford’s ordeal and her claims that sexism within the RCMP hampered its investigation into missing women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside late last year. From the piece:

Galliford said during an internal affairs meeting with RCMP staff this April that a senior officer “did nothing” with information that could have broken open the Pickton murders more than two years before his arrest, and attributed the flawed investigation to sexist attitudes and misogyny. In two extended interviews with Maclean’s this week, she said her examination of a file from the Coquitlam RCMP, with information dating as far back as 1997, showed the force had more than enough information by the late 1990s to obtain a warrant to search the Pickton property. Instead, surveillance on the farm was curtailed, indicative, she says, of the “indifference” that marked the investigation of the disappearance of women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and a “misogynist” attitude toward women.

She said in October 2001 she read an RCMP file dealing with the Pickton farm as she briefed herself on her assignment with the missing women’s task force. “I had one of those ‘oh, no’ moments because I saw what was already on the file. There was enough evidence there for another ITO (information to obtain a search warrant),” she said. She said the file included evidence of guns on the site of the farm, as well as women’s clothing, government identification and an asthma inhaler later tied to one of Pickton’s victims. Yet, she said there was only a cursory attempt at surveillance, which was cut short because it was impossible to see activity at Pickton’s trailer, which was set back far from the road.

Galliford has been on sick leave from the RCMP since 2007. Her lawyer says her career with the force is likely over.