Harassment, violence prevention training launches in B.C.'s maritime sector

Program aimed at 10,000 people working on province's waterfront

Harassment, violence prevention training launches in B.C.'s maritime sector
A cargo container ship leaving the port of Vancouver

The federal government is working with British Columbia’s maritime sector to support workplace harassment and violence prevention initiatives. A new training program is meant to benefit the 10,000-person waterfront workforce.

"Every Canadian has the right to work in a healthy, respectful and safe environment. Supporting harassment and violence prevention projects like this will create better workplaces where workers can reach their potential. This benefits workers, unions, employers and our economy,” says Filomena Tassi, minister of labour

The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) invested $3 million toward the project while the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada and its locals contributed more than $100,000 toward the selection and development of trainers.

"Violence and harassment have no place on the waterfront or in any of our members' workplaces,” says Mike Leonard, president and CEO of BCMEA. “[With this training] our members and their employees will now have a critical tool to protect the health and safety of themselves, their families and the community at large.”

New regulations around workplace harassment and violence, for federally regulated workplaces took effect at the start of the year.

In 2019, the BCMEA received funding of $3.9 million over five years through Employment and Social Development Canada's Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund for the same project.

The program includes an emphasis on supporting populations most at risk of experiencing workplace harassment and violence, including LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous communities.

Through Budget 2018, the federal government committed $34.9 million over five years, starting in 2018, to support Bill C-65, of which $3.5 million annually is dedicated to grants and contributions through the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund.

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