#Canada; #AbusiveSenators; #harassmentpolicy; #NoPublicScrutiny
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: With the aim to root out abuse by tapping third-party investigators to probes harassment, and by enacting clear punishments to discourage harassers, the new harassment policy was drafted by the Independent Quebec Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain, the chair of the human resources subcommittee.
Raymonde Saint-Germain. Image credit: Twitter handle
Inaction against harassment policy of senators faced sometimes by parliamentarians serves as a gift for would-be harassers because abusing senators and staff are being sheltered from public scrutiny, one member of the Red Chamber says.
"I have suffered intense bullying throughout my career. There should be rules that prohibit this sort of harassment as unethical behavior for a senator," former Saskatchewan senator Lillian Dyck said. "It just shouldn't happen," CBC News reported.
After years of shielding senators from scandal by the Senate human resources department instead of properly probing allegations of staffer abuse, the new policy gives complainants the option of going to an outside third-party independent investigator to lodge a complaint.
Total secrecy on the part of the complainant and the alleged harasser involved in such an outside probe is maintained by the new policy.
In addition all the senators and staff have been directed by the senate to complete mandatory anti-harassment training.
Saint-Germain said the privacy provisions protect employees who come forward with complaints but don't want their cases publicized in any way.