Following recent social conversations surrounding harassment in industries, as well as accusations made in the Canadian political world; the Alberta Legislature is presenting a formal process to submit harassment complaints between MLA’s.
“As we’ve seen with recent developments, there’s a power differential that is at play that can really help to prevent or mask elements of what’s inappropriate interactions.” – Debbie Jabbour, an NDP MLA who is chairing the members’ services committee looking into the new policy.
Jabbour addressed the unique nature of the MLA workplace outline the intended respectful but often combative environment with passionate peers representing different political interests. She has said that harassment in the form of name calling has been disruptive during sittings, causing the Speaker to step in.
She believes that complaints from these peer-to-peer interactions are not likely to be made public, due to the political nature of their work.
A bill was passed in 2016 to prevent workplace bullying and harassment, but does not have a specific process for complaints filed. If this system passes and is implemented, it will be the first formal complaint filing process dealing with harassment between peers in the Alberta legislature. The policy would be of a formal structure that could lead to a third-party investigation.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.
 Supra note 1.