Ridout Barron


Canadian military faces harassment suits

A former sailor with the Canadian navy is bringing charges against the military, according to a news report out of Victoria. Alberta residents may be shocked to hear that the sailor is alleging sexual harassment during her time with the navy. However, ever since a law firm in British Columbia opened a hotline for military personnel to report such incidences, the grim commonality of these incidences has been made clear. 

In her suit, the woman is alleging sexual harassment and assault against women and LGBT individuals on the base at which she was stationed, as well as during deployment on navy vessels. During her five-year stint in the military, from 2007 to 2012, when she was medically discharged, she claims she experienced multiple incidences of harassment. This included unwanted advances from a commanding officer, as well as poor treatment from colleagues due to her gender. 

Representation for the woman and other individuals who have come forward say this is not an isolated issue, but rather a pervasive one in the military. Currently, several class-action lawsuits are being filed. At present, the Canadian military has yet to issue a formal statement about these lawsuits. 

Regardless of the field of work, sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination is inappropriate and deeply damaging to those affected. Alberta residents who feel they are the victims of such actions thankfully have the full support of the law in stopping these illegal acts. Seeking the support of experienced attorneys is a good first step in fighting back against toxic work environments and improving life for all Canadians. 

Source: vicnews.com, "Ex sailor files sexual assault lawsuit against Canadian Armed Forces", Kendra Wong, Dec. 7, 2016

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