Government of Canada supports training and resources for workplace harassment and violence
July 5, 2019 Toronto, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada
All Canadians deserve a workplace that is free from harassment and violence. That is why the Government of Canada is making significant investments to help protect federally regulated employees from these unacceptable behaviours.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced a project receiving funding through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund. Minister Hajdu made the announcement during a panel discussion in Toronto on harassment and violence with Canadian actor Mia Kirshner, founder of Rosa and co-founder of AfterMeToo, Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Jean La Rose of Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
The Canadian Women’s Foundation, in collaboration with AfterMeToo and the APTN, received $2,786,696 in funding for their project, Roadmap to Future Workplaces. One of the goals of this project is to create and provide robust, sector-specific education on legal rights and procedures through digital and in-person training for employees. Together with union and corporate leadership, this project will create customized action plans to help companies tackle the policies and cultures that allow workplace sexual harassment.
The goal of this collaboration is to transform workplaces into transparent, accountable and safe environments that are free from harassment and violence.
Roadmap to Future Workplaces will be housed on Rosa, a one-stop online platform that will centralize laws and reporting forms and provide tools and resources for vulnerable workers in federally regulated industries.
This project, along with the five others announced earlier this year, will help workplaces comply with Bill C-65—new legislation to protect employees from harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces, which will come into force in 2020.
“When we introduced Bill C-65, we knew that legislation alone wouldn’t fix the pervasiveness of workplace harassment and violence. That’s why we’re also supporting projects like this that will get us closer to eliminating these behaviours in our workplaces. By making sure that employees and employers have the tools they need in their workplaces, this project will help push forward the much needed culture shift in Canadian workplaces.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“Rosa was created as a response to systems and tools that made it far too challenging to understand laws, reporting systems and how to access justice and report. These systems are scattered across the internet. The goal of Rosa is to make it easier to understand the law and your rights, get help and access supports no matter where in the country you are. This is holistic work and part of that will be working with leadership to identify policies and practices that will lead to elimination of workplace sexual violence.”
– Mia Kirshner, founder of Rosa and co-founder of AfterMeToo
“Women face multiple barriers when it comes to reporting sexual harassment: self-blame, embarrassment and the very real possibilities that they won’t be believed and that speaking up will jeopardize their livelihoods. This investment will provide critical tools and support for those experiencing sexual harassment, and help shift the burden from women to the workplace. ALL women deserve workplaces free from sexual harassment.”
– Paulette Senior, President and CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation
“APTN has strived from its inception to create an environment where racism, harassment, sexism and bullying had no place to exist, much less strive. When we were approached to help develop education and training support for the Rosa project, we agreed wholeheartedly and without hesitation. Over the period of this project, we hope to be able to make a difference in creating safer work environments and assist corporations to adopt enlightened policies and processes to protect their employees from such destructive behaviour”
– Jean La Rose, CEO of Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
The Government of Canada took action to address workplace harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces, including Parliament Hill, by introducing Bill C-65, which received Royal Assent on October 25, 2018. The three main elements of Bill C-65 are the prevention of incidents, a timely and effective response to incidents, and support for affected employees.
Through Budget 2018, the Government committed $34.9 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, with $7.4 million per year ongoing, to support Bill C-65, of which $3.5 million annually is dedicated to grants and contributions through the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund.
It is estimated that between 27% and 45% of all Canadian workers do not have what one traditionally thinks of as a stable full-time job. Moreover, a large proportion of these non-standard jobs, as high as 25% of the paid work force, could be considered precarious (i.e. temporary, self-employed or involuntarily part-time).
Within the Canadian workforce, the population most at risk of experiencing workplace harassment and violence are Indigenous workers. Moreover, a study by the Law Commission of Ontario concluded that Indigenous people were one of the most overrepresented groups among vulnerable workers. Other groups include youth, racialized persons, immigrants, persons with disabilities and older adults.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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