Surrey Mountie sues RCMP

Elisabeth Couture claims she was harassed and subject to fear and intimidation.

An RCMP officer based in Surrey is suing the province, federal government and three Mounties, alleging she was harassed and controlled in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation at E Division’s regional office in Newton.

Elisabeth Mary Couture filed a civil suit in B.C. Supreme Court on Dec. 1 against the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Attorney General of Canada and three RCMP officers.

Couture alleges her troubles began in May, 2009 when she got a job at the Drug and Organized Crime Awareness Service (DOCAS). It was there her superiors allegedly told her she should not engage in “idle chatter or gossiping” and should not speak with her colleagues without approval from her superiors.

Couture also alleges her superior “questioned her about her personal and social consumption of alcohol” and was told that the management team abstains and expects the same from DOCAS members.

The civil claim alleges that her field trainer was speaking with his daughter, who referred to Couture as “the crazy lady.”

The officer, knowing Couture overheard, laughed about the things kids say.

He then called his superior on speaker phone to report the incident, whereby the superior allegedly laughed and said that

“Couture should be nicknamed ‘CB’ for Crazy Beth,” the statement of claims states, adding “Couture was very offended and insisted that such talk cease.”

The civil claim also states she was told by a superior that “she was ‘too wordy’ and that she must communicate with her supervisor in one minute or less.”

She was also told, according to the claim, that she was not permitted to send documents or emails without having them approved and corrected by a member of the management team.

In 2006, three years prior to her time at DOCAS, she was diagnosed with essential tremor syndrome, a progressive neurological disorder, characterized by shaking arms. The condition can be made worse by stress and heightened emotion, the civil claim states.

“During her time at DOCAS, Couture developed a habit of clenching and grinding her teeth while sleeping, resulting in dental disorders and a need for dental work,” the civil claim states. “The members of the management team and RCMP acted with the object of causing harm to Couture, in particular, by alarming her and attempting to destroy her self confidence and autonomy so she would be more responsive and more readily comply with the management team’s directions.”

After her time at DOCAS, Couture developed a generalized anxiety disorder, reads the claim.

“Couture hoped to have a long career with the RCMP,” the claim states. “As a result of her generalized anxiety disorder, Couture will be unable to return to work with the RCMP.”

Couture is seeking general, special, punitive and aggravated damages.

None of the claims has been proven in court and a statement of defense has not been filed.

@diakiw

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

11th Surrey school reports COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read