Addressing workplace sexual harassment
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada responded to public and stakeholder concerns relating to workplace sexual harassment by proposing to invest $50 million over five years through two Department of Justice Canada programs. Of this amount, $25 million is dedicated to providing legal information and advice to persons who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, regardless of their economic status. In addition, $25 million is set aside to develop a pan-Canadian public legal education and information outreach program to better inform workers, particularly those most vulnerable, about their rights and how they can access help if they have been harassed in the workplace. This program will ensure that Canadians in all provinces and territories have access to information that can help them identify workplace sexual harassment and avenues of recourse and decide on their next steps.
Four organisations receiving funding under this new initiative are working on the following projects:
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Thanks to more than $1,200,000 in funding over five years from the Government of Canada, the foundation’s innovative project will address sexual harassment in the workplace through the development and launch of a national online interactive platform. The platform called 'Rosa', will provide plain language content on relevant legislation, reporting options and available supports for individuals who have experienced workplace sexual harassment. The project, a collaboration with AfterMeToo, will specifically target vulnerable and precarious workers, and will partner with community-based organizations for outreach and development. Train-the-trainer workshops will also be delivered for every province and territory on the use of 'Rosa', with additional training workshops on workplace sexual harassment specifically catering to the arts sector.
Chiefs of Ontario
Through more than $670,000 in funding over five years from the Government of Canada, this project will develop and provide public legal education and information resources for Indigenous communities across Ontario, with a specific focus on First Nations youth, Two Spirit and LGBTQ people, and women. Communities will be informed of their legal rights and obligations related to sexual harassment in the workplace, and within the community more broadly. The project will be informed by both the Ontario First Nation Young Peoples Council as well as the First Nation Women’s Caucus
Human Rights Legal Support Centre
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) will receive $2,722,234 over five years from the Government of Canada to create a specialized team to provide free legal advice and public legal education and information. HRLSC will develop materials to inform survivors of the various legal options available to them, and set up an appropriate and efficient referral system. HRLSC will also develop and undertake outreach and public awareness initiatives throughout Ontario, and make available training to stakeholders from the community, the Government of Ontario, advocacy and legal organizations.
Public Legal Education Association of Canada
The Public Legal Education Association of Canada (PLEAC) will receive $642,800 over five years from the Government of Canada for its work to facilitate the sharing of best practices and knowledge among organizations carrying out public legal education and information (PLEI) projects to address workplace sexual harassment. PLEAC will bring together organizations funded by the Department of Justice Canada, PLEAC members and other organizations and individuals engaged in PLEI to foster a national conversation about best practices to address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. It will also gather practitioners and organizations virtually once a year and twice in-person for conferences on PLEI, with a specific focus on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.
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