B.C. judge sets key deadlines in proposed class-action lawsuit against RCMP

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia and federal governments have lost an early skirmish against a former Mountie, as a proposed class-action lawsuit against the RCMP over discrimination and harassment winds through the courts.

Janet Merlo alleges she was subjected to name calling, sexist pranks, and demands for sexual favours during her 19-year career with the force and has applied to B.C. Supreme Court to launch a class-action suit against the governments.

But B.C.’s justice minister and Canada’s attorney general asked the court if they could apply to have section’s of Merlo’s civil claim struck in advance of her certification hearing.

Justice Miriam Gropper says Merlo’s and the governments’ applications will be heard at the same time and over a five-day period in April or May 2014.

She says there’s no advantage to hearing the applications separately and hearing them at the same time is efficient.

The parties must now submit affidavits, responses and other supporting arguments by the spring.