From John Ivison:
Wow. Statement of claim filed against Quebec NDP MP, Sylvain Chicoine for harassment. Filed by Fabiola Ferra, who worked for him.
Claim in Ontario Superior Court claims Mr. Chicoine had a "sexist attitude" and made"grotesque, degrading and offensive comments."
From Leslie Stojsic, CBC Producer
And we all await to see if @ThomasMulcair suspends Chicoine.
You are a very nasty man Debater. You take far too much joy in this kind of stuff. I said it about North Report's thread and I'll say it about this one, mods, please close this.
AC, I'm usually not going to respond to you in the future, as a Moderator suggested. It will be best for both of us if we don't engage with each other.
The statements posted above were by JOURNALISTS. Not by me.
This will be on the Political shows tonight and the press is going to be grilling Mulcair over this new NDP scandal.
Arthur, lay off. If you don't like a post, contact the mods privately. Though I can't even begin to imagine what's wrong with Debater opening this thread and reporting news that I hadn't heard yet.
Thanks for this, Debater.
Allegation is other staffer had the "sexist attitude" and made the degrading comments to Ms. Ferro, not Mr. Chicoine. He just fired her.
The Chicoine lawsuit suggests another staffer harassed Ms. Ferro and Mr. Chicoine wrongfully dismissed her.
AC, can it. We're all beyond fed up. Do not engage with Debater.
I admit that I'm kind of glad to see the NDP's hypocrisy on this issue exposed, but I'm not taking any personal enjoyment in any of these scandals. The bickering between the NDP & Liberals this week is just helping Harper & the Conservatives, as several people pointed out yesterday.
All of these sexual harrassment allegations in the 2 parties have given Stephen Harper the nice present of distracting attention away from the serious issue of Dean Del Mastro being convicted of Election Fraud and quitting the House of Commons.
These are serious issues and hopefully both the Liberals & the NDP will deal with them appropriately so that we don't give the Conservatives any more fodder to use against the Opposition.
I say this is poisionous Union, you lay off.
I have at least been conistent about this. We are takling about people's lives and reputations. I take no joy in hearing of this. And I question the motiviation for posting this as "news". You'd have far more better grounds for attacking me if I hadn't called for the same thing about the NDP harrrassment claims. This stuff is unseemly, tabloidish, and posionous.
MegB, OK. But I still feel this thread, like NR's, shoudl be closed. It is posionous. I'll abide.
Guess Mr. Ivison should have gotten the full details of the lawsuit before posting it.
However, it's still a very serious issue and grounds for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit if this MP fired a staffer just because she tried to expose sexual harassment going on in the office.
OK. so then I'd like to try and undersand this I tweeted Ivison and asked him to clarify this. Did Chicoine do anything at all. Did he in fact "sexually harrass", anyone? Could someone please clarify this for me? I am seriously asking this question. I don't get what is going on here. I'll take an expalantion from ANYONE that wants to provide it. I am all for accuracy and accepting responsiblity, regardless of what "side", I might be on. Thanks.
[url=http://journalmetro.com/actualites/national/651594/congediement-abusif-u... MP accused of abusive dismissal[/url]
OK, so does this mean, Unionist, that Sylvain Chicoine in fact did not sexually harrass anyone? Do I have that straight? I am again, seriously asking; I'm trying to make sure I have this clear in my mind. So, unlike the other situation, does this mean this is not an example of a NDP MP sexually harrassing an employee as is alleged against the two LPC MPs? I am just trying to be sure I've got this right. Thanks for your first reply.
Sus pending MPs accused of harrasment apparently without even a cursory internal investigation, the speed of that has the whiff of being mostly concerned about protecting the party brand. "What if it goes public before we are finished looking into it, even if that is tommorow?" But I think Trudeau deserves the benefit of the doubt on that.
But equivalent treatment for every MP accused of not supporting someone complaining of harrasment... there has to be line somehwere, and if it was drawn there, we would soon have no MPs left.
Chicoine being accused of turfing a complainant without a process sounds substantially worse than the numerous male and female MPs who have talked openly about what they turned a blind eye to, but once you start, where does meting out swift justice end?
OK, so Chicoinne is accused of abusive dismissal, NOT, sexual harrassment or abuse? I stand by what I said, if not about this thread, about this whole thing in general. This stuff is poisonous and we should be questioning how we react to this stuff. I didn't like NR's thread any more then this one. All this stuff makes me feel very uncomfortable; I see it as being dragged into the mud. At the very least, if it proves ANYTHING, its that whatever John Ivision says or tweets should be confirmed as accurate before it is reactied to every single time. He's a clown. And, if Chicoine acted imporperly as a boss, it doesn't make Tom Mulcair a hypocrite in any way.
1.] 'NDP's hypocricy exposed' is a tad premature, since we know very little about what happened, and what we hear changes.
2.] The 'bickering' between the Liberals and NDP is a difference about how to deal with allegations against MPs [which the new case is not about by the way]. Everybody is finding their way on this, and quite unprepared. So big surprise that when it involves MPs of two different parties, it does not go smoothly. For the record, I also reserve judegement on how the Liberals dealt with it, even though what we have heard about that so far does not sound good.
As far as Del Mastro goes... I've been watching that long process in detail almost certainly more closely tham anyone around here. I'm glad Del Mastro got his comeuppance. But as to the chances of the Conservatives and Harper wearing this, I figured that passed a long time ago. And Del Mastro self-portrays as such a buffoon, his puffery makes it so easy for him not to be seen as Harper's creature.
Del Maestro was old news in 2 days even if nothing else was going on.
Thanks for the French translation, Unionist.
Given the turth about what happened, I wonder if the title of this thread shouldn't be changed from harrassment to wrongful dismissal. This story is not about another MP, NDP MP, alledgedly committing sexual harrassment.
The moderators can change the title of the thread to say Wrongful Dissmissal if they think it is more appropriate. The NDP staffer is alleging sexist treatment by the NDP MP, so the concepts are interconnected.
Here is an English version of the allegations to give us a better idea of what it says:
NDP MP Sylvain Chicoine accused of sexism in lawsuit
Fabiola Ferro says Sylvain Chicoine refused to deal with another staffer's harassment of her
Nov 07, 2014 3:52 PM ET
NDP deputy veterans affairs critic Sylvain Chicoine demonstrated a sexist and misogynist attitude toward former staffer Fabiola Ferro, didn't deal with harassment by another staffer, and fired her without cause, Ferro alleges in a lawsuit filed Friday in Ontario Superior Court.
. . .
Ferro says in the lawsuit that Chicoine demonstrated a sexist and misogynist attitude toward her, favouring Cimon because he's a man. She alleges Cimon was allowed to arrive late and take long holidays while she was questioned over every absence and late arrival.
She alleges Chicoine didn't address her repeated complaints and says she finally filed a grievance with the NDP union in April 2013. Cimon filed a counter-grievance, alleging Ferro harassed him and falsely accused him.
A union committee, which included a spokesman for Chicoine, looked into the matter and wrote a report in May 2014 that rejected both complaints, Ferro alleges in the lawsuit.
OK, back to a point I have made about this. These are two seperate, isolated events about which there is discussion today. The occurred in complete isolation from one another, under entirely different circumstances, and involve entirely different allegations. One alledgedly involves sexual harrassment by two MPs, and the other about abuse of an employee by their employer. They are no way connected as near as I can tell. If anything, it also makes antoher of my points, that by allowing this whole thing to be rolled into one messy ball, it obscures entirely what happened in an environment of partisanship, innuendo, and claim/counter-claim. It is unconstructive and fatal to real discussion. That is the real danger in how we discuss these things. It is poisionous in so many ways and leads many to say "a pox on both their houses", with the assoicated apathy it entails. This is very, very dangerous.
Debater: thank you for that link in post 20, I am pleased to see that employee filing the suit had access to some sort of arbitration process - even if they were not pleased with the findings of that committe. What I take away from the story is that there is a complaints process in place (something a lot of us wish we had access to, and which is not the norm for parliamentary staffers), the employee who has now launched the lawsuit is not satisfied with the outcome of that process (hence the lawsuit) and that participants in the Twitterverse are spinning wildly.
And her identity was appropriately shielded during the investigative process until such a time as she decided to launch her complaint.
But bagkitty... Ferro wasn't just unhappy that her complaint was rejected. She was fired (or so she says). The complaint process wasn't about that. It was about her allegation of discrimination by a fellow employee. Why was she fired?
And now that I think of it: Why is she going to court rather than filing a grievance against her dismissal? Even if she isn't seeking actual reinstatement, she can go the grievance/arbitration route and ask an arbitrator for (proven) damages.
And more: What does her union have to say about her dismissal? This would be the union that had an amicable divorce with Unifor recently, because Unifor wouldn't commit to support the NDP in the 2015 federal election.
Nothing is clear yet. Too early. We haven't heard anything from those she is suing.
For poisoning the work place atmosphere with spurious complaints?
All will play out in the suit I am sure.
Hill staffer claims #NDP offered her a lesser job if she dropped her court case against MP Sylvain Chicoine.
Hill staffer claims NDP tried to silence her harassment complaint
A Hill staffer is suing the NDP member of Parliament she worked for, and claims the party tried to silence her complaints about harassment.
Fabiola Ferro claims that NDP MP Sylvain Chicoine ignored her complaints that she was being undermined by a colleague in his office. She also says the party offered her another job if she dropped her complaint.
In a statement of claim filed in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, Ferro seeks $194,000 in damages for wrongful dismissal and moral suffering, in addition to court costs. The statement of claim was sent to the news media Friday by Ferro’s lawyer, Nigel McKechnie.
NDP offices are unionized --as I understand it all the others are not so there is recourse for NDP employees.
That said -- Arthur this might explain some of the dynamics -- there is an employer responsibility to a safe workplace, an employer responsibility to deal with issues -- with the union. So suits would properly be against the employer.
We do not have the facts but I am confident there should be a better record in a unionized workplace and we will know them.
If there is a problem the responsibility lies with the employer -- and fault and responsibility is not the same thing either.
It is sad that it is being reported that the MP is the harasser when that is not what has been alleged.
I too, am curious about why this is not going through the union as this is clearly in that mandate.
All that said --
Sexual violence against women, sexual harassment are not limited to right of centre contexts. If we hear all the stories about sexual harassment on the Hill, let me be the first to say that the NDP will not come out without some black marks. It would be naive to suggest we would not have any hypocritical sexist pigs who have been MPs. I would hope this would be much more rare for the NDP but I cannot pretend to think it never ever happened.
The key is to take a more non-partisan approach to the problem. This should never have happened and should not be going on now.
As for this allegation -- we'll hear about it and if the NDP is at fault -- don't defend that fix it. If the MP is at fault I would guess the NDP will have a stronger policy about safe workplaces than any other and the MP will be dealt with.
@Unionist.... as the expression goes, I do not have a dog in this fight. Even though I have acknowledged that I partake of the orange Koolaid, the hyper partisanship that has been going on lately is really getting on my nerves and making me cranky. I looked into this thread, discovered the somewhat provocative Twitter quotes appearing in the OP, read a bit more and thought it worthwhile to point out what was buried down at the bottom of the link provided in post 20. Specifically that there was at least access to some sort of process/arbitration or whatever it is properly named. I stand by my observation that this is something that a lot of us in the so-called private sector wish we had access to, and that it is something that is not the norm for other parliamentary staffers.
As to the questions you have posed is post #25, damned if I know... of course any discussion on just about anything based on word bursts (or is there a better way of describing Twitter postings) is not going to be terribly in-depth in the first place now...but of course Twitter would be so boring without the immediate rush to judgment now wouldn't it?
I find no glee in this story at all.
If something is trending on twitter - you can be sure it is of no importance whatsoever in the real world.
Such words of wisdom.
[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/10/31/twitter_conversation_about_... conversation about unreported rape goes global[/url]
No offense Stockholm, but that's a foolish comment.
No one says that every popular trend has to be given attention, but when its a serious, major issue, it can indeed mean something.
Because of the Ghomeshi scandal, sexual harrasment/assault is getting a lot of attention right now. I think we should be glad about that rather than mocking it.
As Unionist just showed, these stories are making an impact and may help change some attitudes.
I prefer to think of it more this way: "Twitter, allowing journalists to stay comfortably at their desks and still meet their deadlines since 2006".
Okay, so here it is. Reporter Jordan Press has now posted the Statement of Claim. I'll post it here. That way we can all read it for ourselves, rather than each of us trying to put our own spin on it:
Statement of claim against NDP MP Sylvain Chicoine
I'd like to point out this has nothing to do with sexual harrassment at all, no groping, no vularity, or anyhing like that, just what appears to be what may have been favouritism, which may or may not invovle sexism. We don't know all the details yet, so lets wait to find out.
If she did in fact have access to union grievance arbitration her claim is likely to be dismissed on the same grounds that Jian Ghomeshi's $50M lawsuit is likely to go down - the arbitrator has exclusive jurisdiction (see e.g. this [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/cbc-asks-court-to-dismiss-g... and Mail story[/url] for the Ghomeshi point). If she thinks the union failed to adequately represent her she has to file a DFR with the labor board, she still can't go to court.
There are very serious issues involved:
1. Allegations that the NDP MP is sexist and favours the male staffers over the female ones
2. That the female staffer was fired for exposing the sexual harrasment by the male employee
3. That the NDP tried to pressure her into accepting a different job if she would remain quiet about the incidents
The arbitrator has exclusive jurisdiction over everything grounded in the collective agreement, including for sure dismissal. But Ghomeshi's suit isn't aimed at the dismissal, as far as I can see... and he said he would also ask the Canadian Media Guild to file a grievance, so it's not as simple as the media-chasing lawyers make out.
In this case, when I read Ferro's statement of claim, it's complicated. She was ostensibly fired for abandoning her position, but you need to read the details. I agree with you that all else being equal, either arbitration (if the union agrees to go) or a DFR complaint against the union. But what puzzles me now is that the foundation of her complaint seems to be allegations of discrimination based on gender and family status. If that's the case, and I'm not up on Ontario law, she should be able to go either the grievance/arbitration route (but that again hinges on the union), or to human rights, whose jurisdiction is generally not vacated by the existence of access to arbitration, the way the court's jurisdiction would be.
So, I'm confused. It's conceivable she has grounds of civil action that aren't barred. But it's always possible she has been given lousy advice by some two-bit law firm. Workers, especially those in a tough spot where neither their employer nor union is supporting them, need to go somewhere.
Usually unions bend over backwards to defend their members when they have a grievance and on top of that the internal culture in unions like Unifor (which was representing NDP staff at the time) is very feminist and dare I say "hyper politically correct". In a "he said, she said" argument between two staffers on an issue like this, more often than not the union would take the woman's word over the man's - unless the woman's case was totally, ridiculously, obviously without any merit.
I don't claim to know anything about what actually happened, but if Unifor rejected her grievance it suggests that there wasn't much to her case.
For the 100th time, Debater, [b]NO[/b]. There is no allegation of sexual harassment. She alleges discrimination, harassment, etc. - but NOT sexual harassment. Did you actually read the statement of claim??
ETA: Just in case anyone has trouble understanding this pretty elementary point, here's an example:
Paying a woman less than a man; promoting an incompetent man ahead of more qualified woman; shouting at women and being courteous to men; etc. - all these are or can be unlawful discrimination based on gender. But they're not "sexual harassment", for crissakes.
It is not clear to me why the complaint of unfair dismissal was not first grieved through the standard union mechanism.
Is it normal (legal?) for an individual worker / union member to jump straight to the courts in such a case? Could she credibly argue that since she had not received satisfaction from the prescribed collective agreement process around the original harrassment grievance, she therefore did not have confidence in filing another formal grievance? If the latter, would she not have to sue the Union as well for not adequately representing her interests?
I am confused. Unionist? Barluer?
ETA: Oops, cross-posted with exchange between Robbie Dee and Unionist, above.
You do understand that she was fired on October 21, 2014 - right? Just happened. I don't know whether she approached the union or not - the statement of claim doesn't say, so far as I can see. And even if she did, the union could say "no" - although they'd need to investigate thoroughly and diligently and decide in a formal way that there's no reasonable chance of victory at arbitration. And they'd have to act in a manner that wasn't arbitrary, discriminatory, nor in bad faith.
No, not at all, especially if her sole complaint is about the dismissal. But this isn't a normal case. The union seems to have spent a year looking at her complaint and then rejected it. She may have had no confidence or appetite for getting turfed again. I don't know.
Yes - but the court has no jurisdiction to hear that claim. It would have to go before the labour board.
Labour board - not court.
Thanks! Very clear.
Thanks for the correction. I'm not as fluent in French as you, so I'm reading it a bit differently. But as has been reported, she is alleging sexism & misogyny and inappropriate & grotesque comments. So it's an interconnected concept.
But I agree that we should be precise in our descriptions of the allegations, so I will do so from now on.
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/11/04/liberal_government_accused_of_ignoring_sexual_harassment.html?app=noRedirect This more then likely why Trudeau acted and why he went public despite not being asked to do so by 1 MP.
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/checkup/how-widespread-is-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace-1.2827718 Sexual harrassment in the workplace on the chopping block at CC Checkup. I'm not going to listen' it'll probably be a Trudeau love fest.
Why was Chicoine not suspended from Caucus until the truth could be determined? How is what he is accused of any less serious than what Benskin did with not paying taxes?
Who is Benskin?
Yes, the timing is quite incredible.