A Kamloops police officer is suing the RCMP, alleging more than a decade of bullying and harassment at the hands of her co-workers and supervisors in the city detachment.
Lisa MacKenzie, who has been a Mountie since 2003, has been posted in Kamloops for nearly 15 years.
In a notice of claim filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court, MacKenzie alleges long-term abuse by her fellow officers.
According to MacKenzie, the harassment began in 2006, after her marriage to another RCMP constable dissolved. A formal internal RCMP harassment claim, MacKenzie states, went unaddressed and she was left to pay to repair a door after her ex-husband allegedly kicked it in.
MacKenzie alleges she was the subject of multiple illegitimate code of conduct investigations in the years that followed, saying another complaint — this time claiming a superior was making “inappropriate comments regarding women,” according to the notice of claim — went unresolved.
According to MacKenzie, she asked multiple times for transfers from the Kamloops detachment — specifically to Prince George, where she has family — but was denied. MacKenzie’s notice of claim states she was branded as a “negative member” within the Kamloops detachment.
The notice of claim also details an alleged 2014 affair involving MacKenzie’s second husband and a co-worker, both Mounties, including alleged on-duty sexual encounters. In the document, MacKenzie said she was told by the detachment’s commanding officer at the time to “not mention the affair to anyone to avoid embarrassment to the RCMP.”
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie told KTW the city detachment cannot address the lawsuit specifically due to privacy legislation, but she noted the national police force has set up a system for employee harassment complaints.
“The RCMP does have systems and process in place to address allegations of harassment and is working hard to improve and expand on measures it has put in place to address conflict and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace,” she said.
“Any report of misbehaviour is concerning to the RCMP and we take such allegations seriously.”
According to the notice of claim, MacKenzie remains on disability, unable to return to policing in an operational capacity.
While no dollar amounts are set out, MacKenzie’s claim states she is seeking general damages and special damages, as well as compensation for past loss of income, future loss of income, diminished earning capacity, loss of RCMP benefits and interest.
B.C.’s Ministry of Public Safety and the Attorney General of Canada have 21 days to reply once being served with MacKenzie’s lawsuit.
Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week