"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sask Party Candidate Quits due to Workplace Harrasment

As I posted last night:

The Saskatchewan Party's candidate in the Regina Walsh Acres constituency has stepped down at the request of the party's leader after allegations that he made inappropriate comments.

When Dan Harder became the party's candidate in the constituency for the Nov. 7 provincial election, he told the party about a complaint made against him in 2006 by three employees during his former job as executive director of Big Brothers of Regina.

CBC News recently obtained documents containing allegations that Harder made inappropriate comments about others based on race, gender, marital status, weight and sexual orientation.
So in other words this guy was asked to leave his job at Big Brothers of Regina due to workplace harassment.

But the next question is, when did this happen?

Well, it must have happened sometime after October 18, 2006. How do I know this? Because of this article posted on that day that still has him working in this position. And then Dan Harder is still listed as a contact person for the Big Brothers of Regina "Bowl for Kid's Sake" in 2007.

So it is getting more and more likely that this happened in 2007.

Update: And according to the NDP news release Harder was nominated in March of 07

And what was the Sask Party doing at that exact same time in 2007?

Oh yeah, standing up every day in the legislature and condemning workplace harassment.

In fact it was Sask Party MLA Nancy Heppner's big deal at the time:

"It is misconduct for managers and supervisors who know of workplace harassment not to take immediate corrective action."
- April 4th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1118 (link)

"Why weren’t earlier harassment complaints taken seriously?"
- April 5th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1214 (link)

And another Sask Party MLA June Draude had this to say:

"ignoring harassment complaints is in itself a violation of the harassment policy."
- April 3rd, 2007 Hansard, Page 1115 (link)

Yet, at about the same time that these Sask Party MLA's were getting up and denoucing workplace harassment in the government and blaming the NDP for doing nothing, what was going on?

One of the Sask Party candidates was guilty of workplace harassment as well. And what was the Sask Party doing?

They were ignoring the harassment complaints, they were not taking them seriously and they were not taking corrective action (until now when they got caught)

In other words, they were doing exactly what they were standing up in the house every day, for day after day, and doing, until they got caught.

But wait, what does the Sask Party have to say about ignoring workplace harassment and then getting caught doing it? Well, one of their MLAs Donna Harpauer had this to say:

It’s just crisis management. That is all it is. This is crisis management because they got caught. They got caught...So let’s have that investigation. Let’s
find out what went wrong here. Who knew? Who knew? ...is it okay with these members that people that covered it up are still employed. Is that okay? Is that zero tolerance? And I don’t think it is. Talk to these victims [of workplace harassment] and see how they feel.
- April 5th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1112 (link)

So there is at least one Sask Party MLA who thinks people who cover up workplace harassment should be fired. That there should be an investigation in this sort of situation.

Interesting. I wonder if she is going to come out and demand an investigation in this sort of circumstance?

oh, and by the way, what is the very next comment made by Sask Party MLA Donna Harpauer that day:

"You know, the member from Regina Walsh Acres, someone needs to take her to the back room and give her the . . ."
Oh yes, that is a famous phrase, remember?

This is how seriously the Sask Party takes workplace harassment, THEY DO IT THEMSELVES.

Harpauer said someone should "take her to the backroom and give her the horse ...,'' then stopped.

Harpauer later said the self-censored phrase was horseshit, adding she was referring to the backroom where cabinet ministers go after question period to be briefed by staff before facing reporters.

But Morin said she believed Harpauer was about to say horsewhipped.

Through tears, Morin later told reporters that the comment reminded her of when she was assaulted at a previous job.

Kowalsky ruled Wednesday that Harpauer's comments were unparliamentary.

"They constitute a personal attack on another member and caused considerable disorder in the chamber,'' he said.
What else could you call a "personal attack" against Sandra Morin, in her workplace (The Saskatchewan Legislature) if not workplace harassment?

The Sask Party are a bunch of political opportunists who used the issue of workplace harassment for political advantage all the while doing it themselves in the legislature, and covering up one of their own candidates doing the same thing.

To elect these people would be a tragedy.

Upperdate: On a lighter note Big City Lib has some specualtion as to what Mr. Harder may have said. Worth a read.