Government of Canada supports initiatives to address workplace sexual harassment and improve access to justice in Québec
August 8, 2019 - Saint-Constant, Québec - 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 $2.3 million in funding for two organizations that are working to address sexual harassment in Canadian workplaces. The work of these organizations –Clinique juridique Juripop and the Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail de la province de Québec Inc.– will improve access to justice for individuals who experience sexual harassment in their workplace.
Clinique juridique Juripop will create a legal services center called the Source. The Source will provide legal advice and support to individuals who experience sexual harassment in their workplace in Quebec, regardless of the industry where they work. The Source will rely on a network of external lawyers to respond to the specific needs of vulnerable populations. The Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail de la province de Québec Inc. will provide public legal education and information on workplace sexual harassment to vulnerable populations and employers across Quebec. The project will collaborate with community organisations working with vulnerable populations, including newcomer women, Indigenous women and LGBTQ2S+ persons, to offer training sessions, as well as delivering sessions in workplaces.
“We all have important roles to play in creating and maintaining workspaces where everyone can feel safe and respected. I am proud of the Department of Justice’s support to Juripop and the Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail de la province de Québec, whose projects will help Canadians access clear information about their rights when it comes to workplace sexual harassment.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“Myths and misinformation about the justice system hinder victims who are seeking to file a complaint, looking to obtain justice or to simply turn the page. Starting in 2020, Juripop will help people overcome these obstacles by providing free legal advice to workers from all across Quebec who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. We are very grateful to have earned the confidence of the Minister of Justice and we are excited to get to work."
Executive Director, Clinique juridique Juripop
“The GAIHST is a community-based organization whose expertise is built on 40 years of helping and assisting individuals who have been subjected to sexual harassment at work. The funding provided by the Department of Justice Canada will allow us to enhance our education services by offering outreach sessions across the province of Quebec, and tailoring the content to the specific needs of the most vulnerable populations. Education is at the heart of our mission, which is to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace and break the isolation that surrounds people who are experiencing such situations currently or have experienced them in the past. Our goal is to put our experience to work to empower participants educating them about their rights and equipping them on the issue of workplace sexual harassment.”
Executive Director, Groupe d’aide et d’information sur le harcèlement sexuel au travail de la province de Québec inc.
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 Budget 2018’s $50 million over five years of funding to address sexual harassment in the workplace. 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 complainants and take a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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