Canada's Original Think Tank

Third reading of 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

Third reading of 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

Third reading of 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

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: 

Honourable senators, I also rise on debate. I want to speak to my question to Senator Hartling as to what we should be doing right now. I heard the sponsor of the bill speak about regulations. As a member of the Senate Human Resources Subcommittee, I want to share with you one thing I have realized. I stand in front of all of you, colleagues, and say that no matter how many bills we pass, no matter how much training we do, if we don’t have a change of culture, there will be no change.

Some speakers mentioned the Bystander Program. This is something the military has initiated, and they have said that has made a big difference. Senior people see things happen against other people in their workplace and report it.

Senators, I stand today and say yes, this bill will come through and will pass with amendments or not. However, I think that we should resolve now to change the culture. It seems like we are all committed to this. So let us start to change our culture today and initiate a Bystander Program. I also urge, as Senator Saint-Germain did, to please ensure that you and your staff do the training before December 31.

Honourable senators, as part of the Human Resources Committee, I must tell you that in the 17 years that I have been in the Senate I had no idea what some of our staff were suffering. I am ashamed to tell you that I had no idea of what they were suffering. So I stand before you and urge you not to wait for regulations or other things. Let us stand up for employees in the Senate so we make sure the change starts now. Thank you very much.