House of Assembly
June 6, 2018

Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections Provides Update on Development of Legislature-Specific Harassment Policy

On May 2, 2018, the House of Assembly unanimously passed a Private Members’ Resolution, which ordered the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections to undertake the development of a Legislature-specific harassment policy. The complete resolution is outlined in the backgrounder below.

Work has been ongoing since the passing of the resolution on May 2 to prepare the Privileges and Elections Committee for the piece of work it will undertake, including jurisdictional research, and analysis of the applicable legislative and policy provisions. The committee held a meeting last week where it discussed its plan of action for the coming months; including consultation with Members, employees of the House, and with independent groups who have experience and expertise in handling harassment complaints. All of this work will result in the committee’s recommendations for a legislature-specific policy that recognizes all forms of harassment.

Further updates on the work of the Privileges and Elections Committee will be provided throughout the summer. In accordance with parliamentary procedures, their recommendations must be reported back to the House of Assembly, which will be done during the Fall 2018 sitting. Those recommendations will then be debated and a decision made via a vote of the House.

Current membership on the Privileges and Elections Committee is as follows:

Scott Reid (Chair) – St. George's-Humber
Lorraine Michael (Vice Chair) – St. John's East-Quidi Vidi
John Finn – Stephenville-Port au Port
Keith Hutchings – Ferryland
Pam Parsons – Harbour Grace-Port de Grave

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Media contact
Scott Reid, MHA
District of St. George’s-Humber
Chair, Privileges and Elections Committee
Tel: 709-646-3110

Background

Private Members’ Resolution – May 2, 2018

BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House support the introduction of a legislature-specific harassment policy, similar in principle to the policy in effect in the Nova Scotia provincial legislature, where elected representatives and their staff are held responsible for inappropriate conduct;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House, through the introduction of a legislature-specific harassment policy, recognize all forms of harassment including bullying, cyber-bullying and intimidation of all forms;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House develop this legislature-specific harassment policy through the Privileges and Elections Committee of this House in consultation with all Members and employees of the House and with independent groups who have experience and expertise in handling harassment complaints”.

2018 06 06                             9:45 a.m.