Instructors at a RCMP Training Center bully a colleague, immediately suspended


Allegations of sexual touching, bullying investigated at police college run by RCMP

The RCMP is scrambling to contain the fallout from bungled internal investigations into allegations of unwanted sexual touching, bullying and rampant nudity in the workplace at the explosives training unit of the Canadian Police College in Ottawa.

Top brass have hurriedly ordered new code of conduct investigations and a review of previous inquiries and have suspended two employees with pay after receiving what they say is new information about alleged harassment at the school.

Yet CBC News has spoken to four complainants, all former employees of the RCMP's explosives training unit, who maintain the information is not new at all. The men say they tried to share accounts of other disturbing behaviour at the school in 2014 and 2015, but RCMP investigators didn't want to hear it.

One of the officers suspended Wednesday is RCMP Staff Sgt. Bruno Solesme, who used to be the unit manager. Solesme had already been disciplined for nudity in the workplace, specifically one instance where he was seen lying naked across the desk of a colleague. He was suspended with pay for several months in 2014 before an internal adjudication board formally issued a reprimand and docked him seven days' pay.

The other man suspended this week is a civilian member of the RCMP and a former Canadian Forces Joint Task Force member, Marco Calandrini. He was docked five days' pay for walking around the office stark naked on a regular basis.

The Mounties docked Calandrini another 15 days' pay after the force investigated allegations he had inappropriately touched a former colleague.

Given the nature of the allegations and fear of reprisals, CBC News has agreed to protect the complainants' identities.

One, a former bomb technician and instructor, says he became aware of the new investigation late last week.

"I get this (inspector) guy calling me on Friday and asking the same questions as you, going, 'How come this didn't come out?' Like we're all lying now! It did all come out. Your investigators didn't want to pay notice to it!" said the former instructor.

Like other former staff, he described a poisoned work environment where Solesme played favourites with Calandrini.