Labour Media release

Media release: Gag order at HRM


On 18 October, Equity Watch held a media conference to criticize the report issued by Halifax Regional Municipality entitled “Commitment to a Safe Workplace.”

Our statement was entitled “Why Equity Watch Doesn’t Trust Halifax Regional Municipality to Stop Its Own Workplace Dumpster Fire.” At that media conference, we revealed that HRM had forced an employee to remove a sign with the words: “Bullying: Just Because You Don’t See It Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Going On” and disciplined that employee. The union involved filed a grievance and the case is proceeding to arbitration.

Equity Watch spokesperson Judy Haiven remarked “In this brave new world of safe workplaces, why is HRM management still stubbornly refusing to budge, to loosen up? Why isn’t HRM management now championing signs like this? Because it has not changed its old attitude on the issue. We think it shows that HRM management’s dedication to traditional command, control and subordination trumps any commitment to safe workplaces.”

Now we have more and new evidence that HRM is trying to muzzle its employees.

Equity Watch has learned from several sources that after the media conference HRM sent a note to employees in some business units forbidding them to use social media and social networks to criticize their employer or do anything that would affect HRM’s reputation.

Regarding this HRM gag order, Equity Watch feels that the taxpaying public and the media have the right to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. How many employees received this gag order and in which business units?
  2. In what way is this gag order meant to encourage employees to come forward to use the city’s new “hotline?”
  3. How is this gag order compatible with the highly-touted new regime to reduce workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination?
  4. How will this gag order contribute to openness and collegiality among HRM employees?

For more information, contact:

Judy Haiven,, 902-718-7445


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