THE UGLY TRUTH OF SEX­UAL MIS­CON­DUCT IN OT­TAWA

Sur­vey shines spot­light on Par­lia­ment Hill

StarMetro Edmonton - - Front page -

With the #MeToo move­ment shin­ing a spot­light on Par­lia­ment Hill’s day-to-day work­place re­al­i­ties, a new sur­vey by The Cana­dian Press is giv­ing voice to some of those who toil in ob­scu­rity for pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal bosses.

A to­tal of 266 peo­ple re­sponded to CP’s anony­mous on­line sur­vey, which asked em­ploy­ees in the Ot­tawa of­fices of MPs, se­na­tors and cabi­net min­is­ters to share their opin­ions — and their per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences — with sex­ual mis­con­duct in the work­place.

The non-rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­sults don’t al­low broad con­clu­sions about the scale of the prob­lem. But they none­the­less tell a story, at once heart-wrench­ing and hope­ful, about male and fe­male staffers from all par­ties cop­ing with a culture many say fosters the con­di­tions for abuse.

“Work­ing in pol­i­tics, we all know some­one who has been sex­u­ally as­saulted or ha­rassed. It goes with­out ques­tion,” one re­spon­dent wrote in the sur­vey, which pro­vided no way to ver­ify de­tails or iden­ti­ties.

“We have very lit­tle job se­cu­rity, our bosses are very pow­er­ful peo­ple in their own way, and it’s easy to find your­self in a sit­u­a­tion that is in­cred­i­bly un­com­fort­able — that can turn ugly.”

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