The federal government, the B.C. Maritime Employers Association and its partners, the Warehouse Union Canada, and the Ending Violence Association of B.C., are launching a comprehensive harassment and violence prevention training program for B.C.’s 10,000-person waterfront workforce, according to a press release.
“Every Canadian has the right to work in a healthy, respectful and safe environment. Supporting harassment- and violence-prevention projects like this will create better workplaces where workers can reach their potential,” said minister of labour, Filomena Tassi, in the release. “This benefits workers, unions, employers and our economy. The Government of Canada is proud to have contributed to the B.C. . . . training program, which responds to a pressing need to create occupational health-and-safety tools and resources that will make a real difference in Canadian workplaces.”
In 2019, Employment and Social Development Canada committed $3.9 million in funding over five years to the B.C. Maritime Employers Association for the project. The training program brings employers, unions and anti-violence experts together to provide training and education in support of safer, more respectful workplaces for everyone, with an emphasis on supporting populations most at risk of experiencing workplace harassment and violence, including LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous communities. Alongside robust compliance-based policies and procedures, it’ll also include the Ending Violence Association of B.C.’s bystander education in support of culture transformation, which draws on decades of research and frontline expertise.
“Violence and harassment have no place on the waterfront or in any of our members’ workplaces,” said Mike Leonard, president and chief executive officer of the B.C. Maritime Employers Association, in the release.
The initiative comes on the heels of the government’s new anti-violence and harassment legislation and supporting regulations that came into effect on Jan. 1. The legislation takes all forms of harassment and violence into consideration and requires employers in federally regulated workplaces to have procedures in place to prevent and respond to incidents of harassment and violence.