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Work on bill to address municipal politician harassment ‘complex,’ minister says

OTTAWA — Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs and housing says drafting a bill to address harassment by municipal politicians is proving to be more complex than he thought.

Paul Calandra says he won’t meet his self-imposed deadline of June to introduce legislation, but he is working on it.

The Progressive Conservatives voted down a Liberal private member’s bill that would have allowed councillors and members of local boards to be fired for violating workplace violence or harassment policies, but Calandra said the government would table its own bill.

When asked today at an unrelated press conference about the progress of that bill, Calandra said he is discovering that each integrity act in municipalities across Ontario operates in a different fashion, so drafting rules to cover all of them is challenging.

He says he is reaching out to Ontario’s integrity commissioner for recommendations.

A non-partisan group dubbed Women Say No has been advocating for the legislation, saying some municipalities have learned the hard way that there are not enough tools to hold politicians accountable for workplace harassment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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