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Ottawa Police Service enlist expert to address workplace sexual violence and harassment


October 5, 2020
By Staff

The Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) and Ottawa Police Service (OPS) announced they are taking further action to stop workplace sexual violence and harassment in the OPS.

Ottawa Police Services Chair Diane Deans and Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly announced last week that Janice Rubin and Rubin Thomlinson LLP will serve as an independent third-party advisor to enhance and support the ongoing work and significant progress being made by the Workplace Sexual Violence and Harassment Project.

“Janice is a well-respected industry leader and bring world-class expertise and experience that will further strengthen our capability to create a safe working environment for everyone,” Deans said. “It has taken too long to achieve the positive changes we are now beginning to see, but we are making meaningful headway. We will not stop until we have a workplace culture everyone rightfully deserves.”

“There is absolutely zero tolerance for any workplace sexual violence and harassment at the OPS,” added Chief Sloly. “We are doing everything we can to prevent these incidents from occurring while working to increase member confidence in reporting incidents and providing support to victims. Today, we are taking important steps to support these efforts and the work being done by the Sexual Violence and Harassment Project led by Acting Deputy Chief Joan McKenna.”

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Rubin Thomlinson will serve as the independent third party for intake, investigations and resolutions for all forms of harassment.

Janice Rubin and her colleagues led the probe into inappropriate behaviour at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and have conducted other institutional investigations. She will assist the OPS in establishing an independent and objective complaints intake process as well as new investigation and resolution mechanisms. She will also conduct a thorough third-party review of workplace culture within the OPS and provide recommendations to help accelerate organizational and cultural change, including the implementation of recommendations arising from the Sexual Violence and Harassment Project.

Janice Rubin is the co-founder and co-managing partner of Rubin Thomlinson LLP. With over 30 years of experience, she is a highly accomplished employment lawyer, one of the country’s foremost experts in workplace investigations.

The Ottawa Police Service’s presentation on the Sexual Violence and Harassment Project can be found online here.