Top court won’t hear Mountie’s appeal over harassment allegations

Peter Merrifield alleged his superiors waged a seven-year campaign to damage his reputation

The Supreme Court of Canada says it will not hear an RCMP sergeant’s argument that he should be compensated for alleged harassment by superiors.

In 2017, the Ontario Superior Court found senior Mounties had behaved egregiously in a campaign of harassment against Peter Merrifield after they decided he lied about his run for political office.

The court awarded Merrifield $141,000 in damages and $825,000 in legal costs for his lawsuit, but the federal government and two RCMP managers successfully appealed the ruling.

Ontario’s Court of Appeal said in March that the judge overseeing Merrifield’s suit erred in recognizing a new, freestanding “tort of harassment,” which would establish harassment as a separate wrong or breach for which someone can be held civilly liable.

It said the judge also made mistakes in determining Merrifield’s superiors behaved in a way that constitutes intentional infliction of mental suffering and made errors in much of her fact-finding.

ALSO READ: Sexual harassment lawsuit vs. former BC RCMP spokesman settled

Merrifield alleged his superiors waged a seven-year campaign to damage his reputation that included punitive transfers and unfounded criminal accusations after he took part in a federal Conservative nomination meeting in Barrie, Ont., in 2005.

The Canadian Press

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