“Nixon is walking, talking proof of why we need tougher laws against sexual harassment.”
Edmonton – Alberta’s largest worker advocacy organization has joined the chorus of people calling on UCP leader Jason Kenney to fire his house leader, Jason Nixon, after it was revealed that Nixon fired a female employee for lodging a sexual harassment complaint when he was the owner of a health and safety company in 2005.
“We’re not just talking about allegations here,” says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “Nixon was found guilty by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal of illegally firing a woman because she complained about being sexually harassed by one of Nixon’s clients. Instead of standing behind his employee – who happened to be a single mother of three – he fired her in order to curry favour with his client. And he did it right before Christmas.”
McGowan says Nixon’s track record should disqualify him from holding positions of authority on Alberta’s political stage.
“Based on his actions, and the fine that was levied against him for his illegal and morally abhorrent behavior, it is clear that Nixon is not fit to continue on in a leadership role in the Legislature.”
Nixon’s response to his employee’s harassment complaint also underlines the desperate need for the kind of anti-harassment provisions included in Bill 30, the NDP’s new workplace health and safety law, currently being debated in the Legislature.
“Nixon and his UCP colleagues have been arguing that there is no need for more stringent rules to protect women from harassment in the workplace and that the employers can be trusted to do the right thing without legislation,” says McGowan.
“Nixon is walking, talking proof of why we need tougher laws against sexual harassment in the workplace – and why UCP arguments to the contrary are complete hogwash. Working Albertans need laws like Bill 30 because harassment is real and because too many employers continue to ignore it and enable it, the way Nixon himself did when he was an employer.”
McGowan sent a letter to Kenney asking him to “do the right thing” and fire Nixon.
“Instead of defending the indefensible, I’m asking you find the courage and internal fortitude to take a stand against sexual harassment,” McGowan wrote. “Working Albertans – both women and men – are watching.”
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