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Extension for women filing claims in historic RCMP sexual harassment settlement

OTTAWA — A Federal Court judge has granted an extension for women who were sexually harassed while working for the RCMP to file their claims for compensation.

Judge Ann Marie McDonald extended the deadline to May 22 for primary class members with exceptional circumstances.

The decision issued Wednesday in Ottawa allows class members to file a claim if they by Thursday, Feb. 8, create an account on the independent assessor's web site or inform the lawyer handling the case that they intended to file for compensation under the settlement.

Last May, McDonald approved the unprecedented settlement that will pay up to $220,000 to the women who worked for the national force over the past 40 years.

At the time, McDonald said the settlement was in the women's best interests, given that litigation might otherwise have dragged on for years with uncertain prospects as to an outcome.

The deal covers all women who were harassed while working for the RCMP, starting in September 1974, with each victim eligible for a minimum of $10,000.

McDonald also approved $15,000 in honoraria for two representative plaintiffs — Janet Merlo and Linda Davidson.

The Canadian Press

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