Supreme Court rejects proposed harassment suit against Waterloo Regional Police

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The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear a class-action lawsuit which had been launched on behalf of all past and present female members of the Waterloo Regional Police and their families.

The Court did not provide a reason for the decision.

READ MORE: Ontario court doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear proposed class-action lawsuit against Waterloo police

The $165-million proposed class action, which was initially filed in June 2017, alleged female staff were subjected to unwanted sexual advances, career sabotage and personal attacks during their time on the force.

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It was launched on behalf of all past and present female members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service and their families.

READ MORE: Waterloo police facing lawsuit over allegations of discrimination and harassment

Court documents name the plaintiffs as Angelina Rivers, Sharon Zehr and Barry Zehr, whose allegations of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment spanned from 1988 to the present.

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The suit named the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board and Waterloo Regional Police Association as defendants. The force said it viewed the suit as “inappropriate” and vowed to challenge it.

When asked for comment, a police spokesperson told Global News that “the grievance and arbitration process provided for in the collective agreement, Ontario Police Services Act, and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal/Commission processes were the appropriate mechanisms and forums for the adjudication and resolution of the plaintiffs’ allegations.”

They also noted that “should individual plaintiffs, where eligible, decide to pursue their cases through the processes provided for in the collective agreement or through the OHRT/C, the Board and the Service will respect the terms of the collective agreement and their obligations under Ontario law.”

—With files from Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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