that a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, the House: agrees with amendments 3, 5(b), 6 and 7(a) made by the Senate;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 1 because replacing the word “means” with “includes” would result in a lack of clarity for both employees and employers;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 2 because, in focusing on harassment and violence, it would create an imbalance relative to all of the other occupational health and safety measures under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, and, in addition, other legislation, such as the Employment Equity Act, addresses some of those issues;
proposes that amendment 4 be amended by deleting paragraph (z.163) and by renumbering paragraph (z.164) as paragraph (z.163) because the addition of proposed paragraph (z.163) would mean that a single incident of harassment and violence in a work place would be considered to be a violation of the Canada Labour Code on the part of the employer, which would undermine the framework for addressing harassment and violence that Bill C-65 seeks to establish;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 5(a) because the complaints that are investigated under the section that would be amended do not include complaints relating to an occurrence of harassment and violence;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 7(b) because this would be inconsistent with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board’s other annual reporting obligations under both the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and Part I of the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and because that Board would only be reporting on a small subset of cases in respect of which there are appeals, thus creating a high risk that an employee’s identity would be revealed if such statistical data were published.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-65. First, I would like to recognize both chambers for their excellent work on the bill. Bill C-65 has had careful study over the course of many meetings, and both chambers have suggested amendments that would strengthen this historic legislation. All hon. members agree it is our responsibility and duty to end workplace harassment and violence, and Bill C-65 brings us closer to that goal.
This bill will change how we perceive and put a stop to unacceptable behaviour in workplaces under federal jurisdiction, including Parliament, but its ultimate goal is so much greater.
It is my hope that Bill C-65 will become the standard and the model for other jurisdictions in the country.
We have heard for years many stories of harassment and violence in the workplace and the extent of the problem. In 2017, more women than ever before came forward to share their experiences through the #MeToo movement. The flood of stories was overwhelming. Some were shocked by what we heard and read, but too many of us were not. So many women have experienced what can no longer be denied: a systematic and widespread tolerance of workplace harassment and sexual violence.