Burlington City Councillor Seeks Anti-Bullying Task Force





Ward 6 Coun. Blair Lancaster says she has seen it all.

But an e-mail with racist comments  - plus an image of a severed hand - linked to mosque-related rezoning on Palladium Way has her calling for a task force to address bullying and harassment at the municipal level “both internally and externally.”

Lancaster’s motion was introduced at a Feb. 5 committee meeting.

Recently “there have been many incidences reported of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment at the City of Burlington,” the memo reads.

These incidences have occured “both internally and externally and appear to be linked with the insurgence of social media, media, increased communication and participation with the public. It has been difficult to address these incidences without clear policies in place. The City of Burlington has some policies and programs that address bullying and harassment in the workplace, such as: respect in the workplace and the employee code of conduct. These policies generally reflect interaction between employees. There is no overarching policy that brings together standards for interactions between staff and the public, with the exception of Parks and Recreation Department who do have some guidelines as they pertain to their programs.”

The intent of the staff direction is creating “a task force of stakeholders who will consider this matter and recommend policies” to help address matters and commit to zero tolerance policies that will identify bullying and harassment “by any means, including: verbal communications, emails, social media, gestures, physical touching, telecommunications, untrue statements, threats, racism, bigotry, to name a few.”

Lancaster said residents shouldn’t be afraid to share their views during public meetings.

The matter is scheduled to go before council on Feb. 20.

Do you think the city needs a task force to address bullying and harassment? 

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