Final cost of RCMP’s sexual harassment settlement to be revealed today

The public will find out later today how much money the federal government has paid to the thousands of women who said they were sexually harassed or assaulted while working for the RCMP.

The Merlo-Davidson settlement, named after lawsuit plaintiffs Janet Merlo and Linda Davidson, covers those who were harassed while working for the RCMP during or after September, 1974. They include women who experienced sexual harassment and gender or sexual orientation-based discrimination while working as regular RCMP officers, civilian members or public service employees of the RCMP.

Each victim was eligible for a payout of between $10,000 and $220,000.

In 2016, the Liberal government set aside $100 million to cover the claims. Back then, the RCMP was expecting about 1,000 women to submit claims.

Instead, the office of Michel ​Bastarache — the former Supreme Court justice hired by the Federal Court to decide on the claims — received more than three times that number.

Last year, the federal government promised an additional $50 million to cover the growing cost of settlements.

Successful claimants were awarded compensation on a sliding scale, ranging from level one claims — which cover sexualized comments — to level six claims involving “forcing [the] complainant to engage in penetrative sex acts.”

The report coming later this morning from ​Bastarache is expected to give a breakdown of how much was paid out at the varying levels.

His final report will lay out his recommendations for the RCMP based on his analysis of the claims.

The RCMP has reached a second settlement — for about another $100 million — for women subjected to sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination while they worked for the force in non-policing roles.