Government of Canada supports initiatives to address workplace sexual harassment in Prince Edward Island
December 10, 2019 - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Department of Justice 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 is a priority for the Government of Canada.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced $1.7 million over five years in funding for two Prince Edward Island (PEI) organisations. The work of these organisations – the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission and the Community Legal Information Association of PEI – will improve access to justice for individuals who experience sexual harassment in their workplace.
With this support, the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission (PEIHRC) will implement a public awareness campaign directed to employers and employees, along with training designed for employers to support prevention and identification of sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers will be encouraged to assume a leadership role in creating and maintaining safe and inclusive workplaces. Resources and education opportunities within secondary schools will also be delivered to support youth who are entering the workforce.
The Community Legal Information Association (CLIA) of PEI project has two components. First, it will provide a free legal advice program for victims of workplace sexual harassment that provides referrals to trauma-informed lawyers for legal advice. Second, a public legal education campaign for employers and employees, will be developed in collaboration with the PEI Human Rights Commission. This will also include the creation of public legal education information resources and training for lawyers to educate them about trauma and the brain, as well as effective ways to support clients dealing with trauma.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their workplace. As we celebrate Human Rights Day today, I am proud to announce funding for two Prince Edward Island organisations who are working to put an end to workplace sexual harassment. We all have important roles to play in creating and maintaining workspaces where everyone can feel safe and respected.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“The PEI Human Rights Commission is very pleased to receive support from Department of Justice Canada to increase our capacity to address sexual harassment in the workplace. We look forward to working with local businesses to design programs of prevention and resolution of situations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Creating and restoring safe and healthy workplaces, free of sexual harassment, is beneficial to all employees and the business itself. We also look forward to working with members of the education sectors in the province to provide information and training to high school students as they begin their employment journey.”
Brenda J Picard Q.C.
Executive Director, PEI Human Rights Commission
“Community Legal Information Association of PEI has been a reliable source of legal information for Islanders for 35 years. CLIA helps people seeking information and support about the law and the justice system. We are very pleased to partner with the PEI Human Rights Commission and Justice Canada to bring practical support to those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Executive Director, Community Legal Information Association of PEI
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 these initiatives, the Government of Canada is helping organizations assist complainants and take a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace.
In 2018, Statistics Canada released a study on all forms of harassment in Canadian workplaces. Statistics Canada found 19% of women and 13% of men reported that they had experienced harassment in their workplace. Women were more likely to report sexual harassment in their workplaces.
In 2016, 48% of workers in Canada were women (Statistics Canada, 2017), and in a survey conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada in 2017, 94% of respondents who reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace were women.
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Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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