Spaniard’s Bay council apologizes for sexual harassment
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.