Halifax Fire District Chief and Restorative Lead Kevin Reade on the racism he encountered when he joined Halifax Fire as a Black recruit, the Human Rights complaint and the formation of the Association of Black Firefighters, and the challenges and opportunities offered by a restorative justice approach.
Judy Haiven attends the human rights tribunal for former firefighter Kathy Symington, and hears more corporate HR jargon in a couple of days than during her entire career teaching HR at St. Mary’s.
Scott Neigh of Talking Radical interviews Liane Tessier and Judy Haiven on the remarkable success of Equity Watch, the workplace anti-bullying organization that is making a real difference.
It’s been a year since Halifax Fire chief Ken Stuebing publicly apologized to Liane Tessier, and both Halifax Fire and the Human Rights Commission are reluctant to share what changes were made at the organization to deal with the misogyny that was so prevalent. “We’re dealing with issues that were hidden, now we are letting it out of the bag and HRM and the NS Human Rights Commission don’t like it, because now they are being held to account,” Tessier says, pointing to the work of Equity Watch, the anti-bullying organization she co-founded.”
Judy Haiven reports on the case of Kathy Symington, a former Halifax firefighter whose quest for justice has been denied by the NS Human Rights Commission. “I’ve waited 16 years for justice,” Symington said. “The Commission is not accountable and not listening. I deserve to have my case properly investigated.”
I keep thinking we need a public enquiry into racism and bullying at the city’s workplaces. Council and city management had years to fix the widespread malaise. They were awful at it.
Halifax city employees who suffered racism, misogyny and bullying at work, can now call a tip line. As well, the process to hire a consultant to look at safe workplace issues has been set in motion. But are these measures designed to really fix this problem, or are they a distraction?
Liane Tessier , the former Halifax firefighter and co-founder of Equity Watch, believes that Halifax employees who suffered racism, misogyny and bullying at work deserve a public inquiry, not just some quarterly updates to Council and a review by an external consultant. Tessier fought the city for 12 years after suffering abuse by management and fellow workers before she was vindicated.
Our mayor and Council don’t have the political will to put an end to the bullying and racism that sp many HRM workers are being subjected to.
Equity Watch, a group opposed to workplace bullying and discrimination, calls for an independent inquiry into workplace conditions at the Halifax Regional Municipality after the latest revelations about racism at Halifax Transit.