Earlier today we reported how Equity Watch calls for major structural changes to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission to deal with the many complaints about its fairness and timeliness that have been raised over the years. The press conference and report launch was timed to roughly coincide with the third anniversary of the apologies issued to former firefighter Liane Tessier by the NSHRC and the Halifax Fire Service. This is what Liane said at this morning’s press conference.
Equity Watch calls for major structural changes to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) to deal with the many complaints about its fairness and timeliness that have been raised over the years. The organization lays out its critique and recommendations in Justice Impeded, a well-researched and detailed 50-page report that was launched through a virtual press conference this morning.
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.
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.”
News release: Barely 24 hours after her Media Conference yesterday, Kathy Symington received an email from the NS Human Rights Commission (NSHRC). The NSHRC has decided to refer her entire complaint as it relates to Gender, Disability and Retaliation to a Board of Inquiry.
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.”
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.
Two more former councillors join Jackie Barkhouse in her call for a public inquiry into workplace bullying and racism at HRM.