VICTORIA, BC, Jan. 31, 2018 – With world leaders watching at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made public comments aligning himself with #metoo and #timesup.
“As leaders we need to recognize and to act to show that truly time is up.”
“Sexual harassment, for example — in business and in government — is a systemic problem and it is unacceptable,” Prime Minister Trudeau said on behalf of the Federal Government of Canada.
“#MeToo, Time’s Up, the Women’s March, these movements tell us that we need to have a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality and the power dynamics of gender.”
However back home the federal government isn’t walking the talk when it comes to fighting sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Controversy has simmered for years over the Canadian Armed Forces’ procedures and programs in relation to sexual harassment and sexual assault. In order to address these issues, class actions were filed across Canada seeking change on behalf of those who endured sexual assault, harassment, and gender-based discrimination in the Canadian Armed Forces
An application filed by the Attorney General of Canada in the proposed class action lawsuit launched on behalf of survivors of sexual harassment and assault in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), states:
“It is plain and obvious that neither HMQ (Her Majesty the Queen) nor any individual with the CAF owe a private law duty of care to individual members within the CAF to provide a safe and harassment-free environment, or to create policies to prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault …………….”
This statement from Canada’s Attorney General only serves to reinforce the importance of this class action lawsuit.
Statistics Canada disclosed in November 2016 that 4.8% of women in the Canadian Armed Forces had reported being sexually assaulted, while among those serving in the Primary Reserve, 8.2% of female members reported having been victims of sexual assault in the past 12 months. Finally, more than one-quarter (27.3%) of women reported having been victims of sexual assault at least once since joining the forces.
The Statistics Canada numbers are staggering; among working Canadians, 0.9% reported being victims of sexual assault in any situation. Why are the numbers almost five to ten times higher in the military? How many victims must there be in order for Canada to take action?
The motions for certification, which will decide if the cases can proceed as class actions will be heard in the Federal Court the week of July 9, 2018.
“Contrasting the Prime Minister’s comments in Davos, Switzerland to the Attorney General’s position in this legal matter, it is clear the federal government is publicly pronouncing one thing and quietly doing the opposite” said Rajinder Sahota, partner at Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota LLP; one of the five law firms across Canada prosecuting this class action. “Many former and current members of the armed forces have stepped forward to join this proposed class action, which seeks to end institutionalized sexual harassment and assault in the Canadian Military.”
If you are a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has experienced sexual harassment or assault or for more information, contact:
Class Member Contact:
1 (877) 275-8766
About Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota LLP
Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota LLP is a leading British Columbia based personal injury and class action law firm. For more than 35 years, Acheson Law has represented individuals who have been harmed by motor vehicle collisions, medical negligence, defective products, and rights violations. The firm has continually achieved top results for plaintiffs in individual and class actions.
Note to Editor: #timesup Video https://youtu.be/iZm_MjR4k-g