I haven’t posted for a while due to business. However I can’t use that as an excuse and I can’t put this off any longer. This week has been extremely aggravating and epitomizes the challenges I have been helping some clients with.
There has been a lot of news this week on the subject of harassment and abuse. We have heard about some MP’s who felt they were being harassed in Ottawa and raised the issue “privately”.
I emphasize the word “privately” because I don’t believe this is a subject to be kept locked up in a closet somewhere. It is my belief that if someone brings an issue like that forward in a very public venue there is a good chance they are quietly asking for help. The person who was approached was the leader of a national political party, Justin Trudeau. The people approaching (to date unidentified) were members of a completely different party.
This is not a scenario where you are having coffee with a friend and share a serious concern while asking that friend to “don’t say anything”. This was two of our national politicians speaking with the leader of a different political party. In my humble opinion Justin Trudeau did what any responsible person should and confronted the accused.
I also believe he did it in a way that respected the confidentiality of the victims. Mr. Trudeau never mentioned victim names or party affiliations. He dealt with with the reported perpetrators of the events. Since that time the leader of a different party has come forward and introduced the concept of “re-victimization”. My problem with that, well if our politicians, the people we elect to represent us, don’t feel comfortable coming forward on these issues than what message does that send to every marginalized Canadian out there who has been subject to harassment and intimidation.
When those we elect to protect our rights won’t stand up out of fear of being “re-victimized” why the hell would that single mother trying to support her two kids feel comfortable coming forward when she feels she is being subject to those same workplace behaviours?
A couple of year ago I wrote a training module for the Alberta Human Rights Commission on dealing with the toxic workplace environment. It is a very difficult and complex issue however the employer is the one in the power position. Changing the nature of a toxic workplace starts at the bosses desk. If our nations Parliament has become that toxic that even our elected officials are afraid to step up then what chance does that single mother have? Personally I am more disgusted with the two victims for not standing up to their abusers.
These are our national representatives and role models. What kind of role are they modelling? And for people to now be hiding behind the term “re-victimize” after years of victimizing veterans, then Canada has become a harbour for political hypocrites.
And now we have the situation in Calgary where a former member of the Canadian Forces is facing charges for “plotting to attack a building housing an office of Veterans Affairs“. I don’t condone this action however if the word “re-victimization” was to be used appropriately, this is the case. By all reports this gentleman, simply referred to as GG, had been reaching out for help for well over a year and Veterans Affairs just kept putting up more barriers.
I find it ironic that while our Prime Minister is reportedly confronting the Chinese government regarding human rights issues we have MP’s who won’t stand up for their own human rights and services that are stripping the human rights of our veterans away. And all of this with less than a week from Remembrance Day. Think about that when you put on your poppy this year!
Just one man’s opinion!