The commissioner of Canada's national police force says the government has earmarked US$757 million (CA$100 million) in payouts related to the settlement of two class-action lawsuits

The lawsuits stem from sexual harassment allegations filed by female employees, some of which date back to 1974.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson issued an emotional apology Thursday to hundreds of female employees who have said they were subjected to alleged harassment dating back 42 years.

Paulson said the settlements would provide financial compensation for the women and pave the way to end potential class-action lawsuits brought forward by former Royal Canadian Mounted Police members Janet Merlo and Linda Gillis Davidson.

Paulson says the settlement could see as many as 1,000 women make claims, adding there's no cap on the potential cost of payouts.