Sunday, 15 December 2019

Last week a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Board of Inquiry decided that former firefighter Kathy Symington did not suffer discrimination while working at the Halifax Fire Service.

“In fact the Tessier case shows that for a woman to complain about a male-dominated workplace, such as the Fire Service, the woman has to be willing to fight for more than a dozen years, has to have an airtight complaint, witnesses, and certainly not criticize her superiors. Short of this, women are simply not believed.,” writes Judy Haiven.

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.”

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.