THE UGLY TRUTH OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN OTTAWA
Survey shines spotlight on Parliament Hill
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.”