Sexual harassment in the workplace goes all the way to Parliament Hill

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The recent exposé on Jian Ghomeshi left the nation wondering how any organization could ignore such a string of allegations for so long but it seems CBC execs aren’t the only ones guilty of turning a blind eye – just nine months ago Tories rejected recommendations to improve awareness of sexual harassment on Parliament Hill.

While Parliament Hill is no stranger to rumours and whispers about sexual harassment, there haven’t yet been any direct allegations made. However, earlier this year, Parliament Hill was the subject of a study in which a Commons committee issued a call on Status of Women Canada — a federal agency — to work with Parliament to raise “awareness of the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Disappointingly, Conservatives rejected the recommendation and the government’s official  response was posted in June: “We recognize the value of improving awareness of the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace among parliamentary staff, however this recommendation deals with matters that are within the responsibility of the Parliament of Canada and, as such, not within the purview of Ministers to address.”

The joint response came from Treasury Board President Tony Clement and Kellie Leitch, who is the minister of Labour and the minister responsible for Status of Women Canada.

News of the rejection will come as a blow to anyone who campaigns for improved harassment education and forces the question- if the government isn’t concerned with quashing sexual harassment in the workplace – who will be?

NDP Status of Women critic Niki Ashton said the lack of a sexual harassment policy like the one that should have come out of the report sends a signal to victims that they should not come forward because their complaints won't go anywhere. 
  • Rob Ivanic on 2014-11-07 3:34:18 PM

    Is this supposed to be HR news or you guys getting into political commentary now? Most people don't care what you think is "disappointing".

  • Em on 2014-11-08 2:01:16 PM

    As a worker, it is easy to become climatized to the sexual harrassment [fellow employees displaying pornography], when you other challenges are discrimination; disability, racial and age. Employees are exhausted and when they do stand up, they are ousted by other employees who suggest the victim is tooo 'sensitive' meanwhile you are just standing up for your right to live, free of burden. Employers turn there heads, employees turn their head and govt turns its head what is a victim to do?

  • Lisa on 2014-11-10 3:06:03 AM

    Yes it is very much HR related...and is huge news in the HR field....I am shocked on this outcome....HR is going to have a difficult time with all this now...

  • Rob Ivanic on 2014-11-10 9:05:10 AM

    "Awareness Training" is a catch-all politically correct phrase that people use because it sounds important but actually means that you don't know how to properly manage a situation. Assuming that you have grown ups working in your workplace, I hope you have more meaningful management strategies than lecturing your employees. Perhaps you should sit down if you are that shocked.

  • Sara on 2014-11-10 4:02:20 PM

    Rob - do you mean grown-ups like Jian Ghomeshi, the union reps, and the executive producer at CBC??

  • Rob Ivanic on 2014-11-10 4:09:03 PM

    Are you saying that awareness training would have been the solution? Do you believe that Mr. Gomeshi would have been cured of disturbing and illegal fetish if only someone told him that it was wrong? I think that they should all be charged and publicly shamed. Not to mention - terminated. Surely they have policies prohibiting this. If not - that might be a good place to start.

  • Rob Ivanic on 2014-11-10 4:10:50 PM

    Are suggesting that the CBC has the same HR department as the house of commons? Do you even know what the original article is about?

  • Kelley Brothers on 2015-06-12 7:28:15 PM

    I agree 100% with Rob! Sexual harassment should never be tolerated especially in the workplace!! Termination for sure!

  • Kelley Brothers on 2015-06-12 9:17:15 PM

    i agree with Rob Sexual Harassment should not be tolerated especially in the workplace. They should be terminated immediately!

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