OTTAWA — MPs are set to debate proposed legislation today that would crack down on harassment in federal workplaces — including Parliament Hill.
The legislation, introduced last fall by Employment Minister Patty Hajdu, is aimed at giving workers and their employers a clear course of action to better deal with allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.
The changes would merge separate labour standards for sexual harassment and violence and subject them to the same scrutiny and dispute resolution process, which could mean bringing in an outside investigator to review allegations.
The proposed rules, which also apply to banks, transportation, telecommunications and other federally regulated industries, would enforce strict privacy rules to protect victims of harassment or violence.
Bill C-65 comes to second reading in the House of Commons at a time when the so-called #MeToo movement has reached Parliament Hill, including allegations against Liberal MP Kent Hehr, who resigned from cabinet last week pending an investigation.
Hajdu has said the proposed legislation would give more power to staffers, including by making sure they have access to a neutral third party to examine their complaints, so that they are not forced to rely upon the MP or senator who employs them.