Dear Sisters & Brothers,
My name is Liane Tessier. As you probably know, I was a firefighter in Halifax, and was discriminated against as a woman in the Fire Service. I was harassed, bullied, humiliated, threatened and denied a permanent job because of my gender. Recently I “won” my gender discrimination case at the NS Human Rights Commission.
I say “won” in quotation marks because it took me
- 4 years of fighting my employer, the Halifax Regional Municipality, to try to get them to stop my co-workers and officers in the Fire Service from harassing me and make the workplace safe. The HRM turned a blind eye and never did a thing.
- 5 years of waiting for the NS Human Rights Commission to properly address my concerns. But they did nothing and then rejected my case, leaving the obvious gender discrimination to fester.
- Taking the Human Rights Commission to the NS Supreme Court due to their inadequate work & flawed investigation, where the Hon. Justice Arthur LeBlanc ruled that the Commission had to re-investigate my case with staff who had no prior involvement in my case.
- 3 more years of waiting for the Commission to investigate and set a date for a Board of Inquiry (a public hearing).
- Until Oct 2017, after 12 years of struggle, the HRM waited until a month before the public Board of Inquiry to propose a settlement.
So, yes I won. However, my case is like hundreds and thousands of cases of discrimination. I persisted but I had to do it alone, with almost no help. It took a huge emotional, physical and financial toll on me.
Now I am committed to work with any of you to fight similar injustices in the workplace. With others, I’ve started a committee called Equity Watch which will make sure employers like the HRM and the NS Human Rights Commission are held to account and monitored on employment equity issues.
Please come to a meeting to discuss this initiative and learn what we can do together to fight discrimination against marginalized groups in the workplace. All are welcome.
WHEN: Thurs. Jan. 25
TIME: 6.00 – 8.00 pm
PLACE: Halifax Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room, 301
Read my blog Disappointing the Boys’ Club
For more information, contact Judy Haiven (902) 718-7445 or firstname.lastname@example.org