Moving forward from workplace bullying, Despair to Empowerment is a journey of healing, time, the apology and accountability backed up with action. From the Macleans Magazine by Charlie Gillis
“Q: Was Commissioner Bob Paulson’s apology adequate?
A: I don’t know him personally, so I can’t comment as to his sincerity. But it was really important for the organization and the victims—past, present and possibly future—to know that their leader is willing to apologize. Having public acknowledgement is important. Now, that apology is only good if it is backed up by action. Think of a man who beats his wife and says, ‘Sorry, I’ll never do it again’—and then does it again. That apology means nothing. This apology has to be backed by firm action in getting the payments out to victims, in enforcing policy for all officers about respectful workplaces, in stopping workplace bullying.
Q: One change to the RCMP Act has strengthened the commissioner’s power to terminate members to “promote the economy and efficiency” of the force. Harassment victims who are off-duty sick—some with PTSD—believe it’s being used to get rid of them.
A: Yes, they’re told they’re being accommodated, but they must take a certain position or they’re gone. That is a very polite way of bullying people. It’s all in the wording. There’s a difference between streamlining and eliminating people who are off-duty sick. They need to address why these people are away sick, and not send people back to where they were being abused.
Q: What would you say right now to a young woman considering a career in the RCMP?
A: Go for it, sweetie, if this is what you really want. But be informed. Be aware.”
If no one says anything then nothing changes. One voice your voice can make difference. Speaking up about bullying is part of empowerment. Backing up an apology with positive action is how you create a respectful and productive workplace and heal the wounds within.