Complaints against former RCMP doctors accused of sexual misconduct hit 80

Toronto doctor was allegedly particularly focused on women’s nipples during medical examinations

More than 80 complaints have now been received against two former RCMP doctors under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct spanning decades, police in Ontario and Nova Scotia say.

Toronto police have logged more than 20 complaints against a retired doctor in the Mounties’ Ontario division, while Halifax police have received “in excess of 60 complaints” against a former Nova Scotia doctor.

“These reports are still being investigated and no final decisions have been made on potential outcomes as yet,” Meaghan Gray of the Toronto Police Service said by email Monday. She added that it’s “still too early in the process” to say whether charges will be laid.

It is the first time Toronto police have revealed the number of complaints they have received, while Halifax police said Friday they had received about 50 complaints to that point.

The Toronto doctor was allegedly particularly focused on women’s nipples during medical examinations, while the Halifax doctor, nicknamed Dr. Fingers, has been accused of inappropriate and unnecessary vaginal and rectal examinations.

The force’s commanding officer in Nova Scotia, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan, said last week that ”a multiple of dozens” of women have brought forward allegations of incidents between October 1981 and July 2003 at the RCMP health services office in the Halifax suburb of Bedford.

READ MORE: RCMP recruits ‘deeply afraid’ to speak out about alleged sex abuse: Lawyer

READ MORE: ‘They gave me my life back’: RCMP member on harassment report

In a note to officers, he said he expects “many more” women to come forward in the months ahead.

“I am at a loss for words as I write this message to you. To say I’m shocked and disheartened doesn’t seem like enough,” Brennan wrote in the internal memo.

Assistant Commissioner Stephen White, the force’s acting chief human resources officer, said in an email to members that the allegations involved a doctor who conducted recruitment medical examinations and periodic health assessments on members.

The retired doctor declined to respond publicly on the allegations when reached last week.

The claims against the physicians mirror widespread complaints about sexual harassment in the national police force that led the federal court to approve a landmark settlement last spring.

Megan McPhee, a principal with a Toronto-based law firm serving as counsel in the class-action lawsuit, said last week that the physicians allegedly abused their power over vulnerable young recruits who were “deeply afraid” that speaking out would damage their careers in the RCMP.

“The issues we’re hearing with respect to the Halifax doctor are arising very early in the employment, when there is a potential power imbalance between a doctor and a woman who is trying to fulfil her dream of becoming an RCMP officer,” she said.

“Women simply don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re so deeply afraid of the impact that speaking out could have on their careers.”

The deadline for the uncapped class action settlement is Feb. 8.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Traffic snarls at Agassiz/Harrison bridge after biker falls on road

A road bicyclist fell from his bike while crossing the bridge and needed medical attention

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

Inquest scheduled into woman’s death while in Chilliwack police custody

BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Charlene Teresa Sakamoto

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read