Spa­niard’s Bay coun­cil apol­o­gizes for sex­ual ha­rass­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A New­found­land and Labrador town that made in­ter­na­tional head­lines over sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions apol­o­gized Tues­day to its only fe­male fire­fighter, at­tempt­ing to put the ugly dis­pute be­hind it. “We’ve got to pick our­selves up out of the ashes,’’ said Tony Men­chions, mayor of Spa­niard’s Bay in south­east­ern New­found­land. “We’ve got a lot of re­build­ing to do.’’ A news re­lease Tues­day signed by Men­chions apol­o­gized to fire­fighter Brenda Sey­mour. She is also a town coun­cil­lor. “We do not con­done nor tol­er­ate any such be­hav­iour,’’ said the state­ment. ``As a coun­cil, we have adopted a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy on ha­rass­ment of any kind and shall en­sure that all town work­ers and vol­un­teers op­er­ate in a safe, re­spect­ful and in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment.’’ In an in­ter­view, Men­chions paused when asked if the town could have han­dled the mat­ter dif­fer­ently be­fore longsim­mer­ing ten­sions blew up. “Hind­sight is a great thing,’’ he said. “If there’s things we could have done dif­fer­ently in the past, pos­si­bly, but we are where we are. We have to move for­ward.’’ Sey­mour un­leashed an up­roar this month with ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions that in­cluded pornog­ra­phy shown dur­ing fire­fighter train­ing al­most two years ago.

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