Government of Canada supports initiatives to address workplace sexual harassment and improve access to justice in Nova Scotia

News release

July 26, 2019 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Department of Justice Canada

In Canada, all individuals have the right to a safe workplace with fair treatment for all. Sexual harassment impacts the health and well-being of those involved, as well as their ability to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. Creating and maintaining safe workplaces where everyone – no matter their gender or gender identity – can be safe, respected and able to focus on their work and career is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced nearly $2.4 million in funding for two organizations that are working to address sexual harassment in Canadian workplaces. The work of these organizations – Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies – will improve access to justice for individuals who experience sexual harassment in their workplace.

The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia will provide public legal education and information and establish a lawyer referral program to provide independent free legal advice to people who have been sexually harassed in the workplace. The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies will launch an online course to support employers to prevent and address sexual harassment in workplaces. The course will offer information and education to help employers better understand sexual harassment, how to identify and prevent it, and the applicable human rights obligations.

Quotes

“Everyone should have the right to a workplace free of sexual harassment. It is essential that we increase support for victims of workplace sexual harassment and access to justice across Nova Scotia and across Canada. I am proud to support these organizations and their initiatives that will address this very serious issue and help provide a safe workplace.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) is very pleased to have the opportunity to provide leadership to employees regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. We look forward to providing employees with meaningful access to justice through this five year project. Our work will positively impact diverse groups of employees with particular emphasis on vulnerable employees by providing quality legal information and support with a view to making workplaces safer for employees and providing meaningful supports and triage to means of redress. LISNS is a recognized leader in providing the public with helpful resources and tools to manage conflict at an early point in time.”

Heather de Berdt Romilly, Executive Director
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia

“Prevention of workplace sexual harassment begins with education. Human rights Commissions across Canada have collaborated to develop this important national training in both official languages which is now available and free to everyone in Canada.”

Christine Hanson, Chair
Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Commissions

Quick facts

  • The Canada Labour Code defines sexual harassment as any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion. This federal definition applies to federally regulated workplaces.

  • Today’s announcement is part of the Budget 2018’s $50 million over five years of funding to address sexual harassment. Of this amount, $25 million is dedicated to organizations so that they can increase their ability to provide legal advice and information to support complainants of sexual harassment in the workplace. Another $25 million is dedicated to organizations to enable them to provide public legal education and information to workers. Through both inititatives, the Government of Canada is helping organizations assist victims and take a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
Rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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