Monday, March 08, 2021 at 04:00 PMOnline via Zoom
All politicians at every level have a duty to ensure that the people we work with are safe and we set an example for other workplaces.
In our city and beyond, we have seen examples of elected officials create unsafe workplaces for the people that they work with, and important questions have been raised on what the repercussions are for these elected officials are, and should be.
In Ottawa, the actions of College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli is one example of this. And despite Ottawa’s integrity commissioner finding that he committed “incomprehensible acts of misconduct” against his staff, College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli has refused to resign, and there is no way to remove him from office.
That is why in December, MPP Joel Harden tabled a motion in the Ontario legislature calling for legislation giving municipal councils the ability to institute measures to remove members of council who have been found guilty of serious acts of misconduct, including sexual misconduct.
Everyone has a right to feel safe at work, and anyone who abuses their power - especially elected representatives, must be held accountable. We also cannot ignore the fact that sexual harassment and violence in workplaces overwhelmingly affects women, and further discourages the involvement of women in politics.
Join us on International Women's Day, Monday, March 8th from 4 PM - 5:30 PM for a community roundtable discussion with local leaders and experts on the issue of safe workplaces for political staff. Sign up using the registration link below and you will be sent a Zoom link prior to the meeting.
In the roundtable, we will be hearing directly from folks with experience working with the Councillor for College Ward. If you have similar stories you would like to share on unsafe workplaces for political staff, in Ottawa or anywhere, please get in touch. If you want to share them publicly, please send us an email at [email protected]. If you would like to share your story anonymously, you can write your story into a document (without signing it) and upload it to this Dropbox link here.
Note: The only person with access to this Dropbox is Samiha Rayeda, staff in MPP Harden's office. No one else will have access to your submission.