Hay River South
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This government promised change. Prior to being voted into office, I heard stories and complaints from persons working in government who informed me of a toxic working environment where bullying and belittling was a common occurrence in some departments under certain managers or by co-workers. As an MLA, I now hear those same concerns and, unlike before, I am in a position that will allow me to address it and do something about it.
Mr. Speaker, employees at every level of this government deserve to be treated with respect, not only by management, but by their co-workers, as well. Each employee brings a particular set of skills and knowledge to their position which should be recognized and appreciated. Many of these employees may be young persons who are just starting to build the career they have dreamed about for years. They should not be put in a position where they are afraid to come to work or afraid to speak up when being treated inappropriately or intimidated by management or others.
Mr. Speaker, we all know that each person, while bringing their own knowledge and experience to a position, may also bring an arrogance that could result in the workplace becoming a toxic work environment because one's power is misused.
This government has in place a Harassment Free and Respectful Workplace Policy. As politicians, we must ensure that each Minister and their deputy ministers is held accountable for the administration and implementation of that policy. Employees also have other avenues to address workplace harassment; however, they may not have the financial resources to take advantage of such avenues. Government, on the other hand, has deep pockets and resources which place it in a position of power when it comes to addressing allegations of harassment and protecting management. It is here where fairness becomes questionable.
Mr. Speaker, it all comes down to treating people with respect. We, as regular MLAs, must ensure that this government is held accountable if we expect departments to hold management accountable when it comes to the treatment of employees. To accomplish this end, it is incumbent upon each of us to lead by example. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.