Liberal staffers receive PMO-organized harassment prevention training

Liberal staffers receive PMO-organized harassment prevention training
OTTAWA Hundreds of Liberal parliamentary staffers, including those in ministers offices, attended mandatory training sessions on sexual harassment prevention in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The closed-door sessions were run by educator and advocate Julie Lalonde, and organized by the Prime Minister s Office and the Liberal Research Bureau. The training focused on preventing workplace harassment and bystander intervention.

Held at the Sir John A Macdonald building across the street from Parliament Hill, Lalonde conducted two sessions, one in French followed by another in English.

"Everyone has the right to a safe and respectful working environment, and we do not take this responsibility lightly," said PMO spokesperson Eleanore Catenaro in an email. "We continue to work to ensure the Hill is a respectful and positive work environment for everyone."

This training is in addition to harassment prevention training run by the Chief Human Resources Officer of the House of Commons for Hill employees and MPs.

Lalonde has provided similar training sessions to politicians in the past.

At the Liberal party s April convention in Halifax, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a handful of Liberal MPs attended one of the two closed-door sessions she ran on creating safer work environments.

Lalonde offered a similar session at the NDP convention in February 2018.

Over the last year, the #MeToo movement as well as reporting on past allegedly inappropriate behaviour of members of Parliament prompted both political and parliamentary pledges to do better.

This conversation has led to changes to the MP-to-MP code of conduct, the Senate harassment policy, enhanced training for staff on the Hill, new rules within the respective political parties, and new harassment protections for federal workers.
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