A A A

3rd Session, 41st Legislature

This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

Bill 231

THE MUNICIPAL HARASSMENT POLICY ACT (VARIOUS ACTS AMENDED)


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

THE CITY OF WINNIPEG CHARTER

S.M. 2002, c. 39 amended

1           The City of Winnipeg Charter is amended by this Part.

2           The following is added after section 74:

Harassment policy

74.1(1)     A by-law governing the conduct of members of council must

(a) prohibit members from engaging in harassment of each other, employees of the city and members of the public;

(b) designate an individual to investigate harassment complaints made against a member;

(c) establish policies respecting

(i) how to make a harassment complaint,

(ii) how to investigate a harassment complaint,

(iii) when not to investigate complaints, and

(iv) how to report about the investigation results to the complainant, the council and the member;

(d) require a member to cooperate with an investigation;

(e) require the designated individual to immediately report to council in writing if the individual is of the opinion that a member has failed to cooperate with such an investigation.

Council's consideration of report

74.1(2)     Council may consider the report of a designated individual on a harassment complaint in camera, as provided for under section 76. But council must ensure that any recommendations contained in the report concerning sanctions or actions to be taken or measures to be implemented to prevent harassment in the future are considered at a meeting that is open to the public.

Designating executive director of Manitoba Human Rights Commission

74.1(3)     A by-law under this section may provide that the individual designated to investigate allegations of harassment is the executive director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Executive director may delegate

74.1(4)     If the executive director is designated, the executive director must ensure that the responsibilities assigned to the designated individual under the by-law are carried out. But the executive director may delegate the conduct of an investigation and the reporting on the outcomes of that investigation to an employee of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Executive director's costs

74.1(5)     Any costs incurred by the executive director or the executive director's delegate in fulfilling the responsibilities of the designated individual under the by-law are the responsibility of the city and must be paid at the time, and in the manner, determined by the executive director.

Definition — harassment

74.1(6)     In this section, "harassment" means

(a) abusive and unwelcome conduct or comment based on a characteristic referred to in subsection 9(2) of The Human Rights Code; or

(b) conduct or comment that adversely affects an individual's psychological or physical well-being and

(i) is repeated conduct or comment that could reasonably cause an individual to be humiliated or intimidated, or

(ii) is a single occurrence that has a lasting, harmful effect on an individual.

PART 2

THE MUNICIPAL ACT

C.C.S.M. c. M225 amended

3           The Municipal Act is amended by this Part.

4(1)        Subsection 84.1(3) is replaced with the following:

Censure and suspension

84.1(3)     If a council determines that a member has breached the code of conduct, the council may

(a) censure the member; or

(b) in the case of a breach that constitutes harassment, suspend the member without remuneration for a period not exceeding 90 days.

4(2)        Subsection 84.1(4) is amended by adding "or suspend a member" after "censure".

4(3)        The following is added after subsection 84.1(4):

Absence

84.1(4.1)   An absence from a council meeting due to a suspension under subsection (3) is not an absence for the purpose of clause 94(1)(a) (when member becomes disqualified).

5           The following is added after section 84.1:

Harassment policy

84.2(1)     The code of conduct must

(a) prohibit members from engaging in harassment of each other, employees of the municipality and members of the public;

(b) designate an individual or the Association of Manitoba Municipalities to investigate harassment complaints made against a member;

(c) establish policies respecting

(i) how to make a harassment complaint,

(ii) how to investigate a harassment complaint,

(iii) when not to investigate a complaint, and

(iv) how to report about the investigation results to the complainant, the council and the member;

(d) require a member to cooperate with an investigation;

(e) require the designated individual or association to immediately report to the council in writing if the individual or association is of the opinion that a member has failed to cooperate with such an investigation.

Council's consideration of report

84.2(2)     A council may consider the harassment complaint report of a designated individual or the association at a closed meeting, as provided for under subsection 152(3). But it must ensure that any recommendations contained in that report concerning sanctions or actions to be taken or measures to be implemented to prevent harassment in the future are considered at a meeting that is open to the public.

Designating executive director of Manitoba Human Rights Commission

84.2(3)     A code of conduct under this section may provide that the individual designated to investigate allegations of harassment is the executive director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Executive director may delegate

84.2(4)     If the executive director is designated, the executive director must ensure that the responsibilities assigned to the designated individual under the code of conduct are carried out. But the executive director may delegate the conduct of an investigation and the reporting on the outcomes of that investigation to an employee of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Executive director's costs

84.2(5)     Any costs incurred by the executive director or the executive director's delegate in fulfilling the responsibilities of the designated individual under the code of conduct are the responsibility of the municipality and must be paid at the time, and in the manner, determined by the executive director.

Association's responsibilities

84.2(6)      The Association of Manitoba Municipalities must

(a) establish procedures for investigating and reporting on harassment complaints it is designated to investigate under a council's code of conduct;

(b) ensure that the responsibilities assigned to it under a code of conduct in relation to such complaints are carried out using procedures established under clause (a); and

(c) apportion among municipalities the costs and expenses the association incurs in establishing the procedures and in investigating and reporting on the complaints.

Entitlement to disclose

84.2(7)     Despite clause 83(1)(d), a member is entitled to disclose a matter referred to in that clause to the degree necessary to make a harassment complaint under the council's code of conduct or to participate in an investigation or other procedure related to such a complaint.

Definition — harassment

84.2(8)     In this section and in section 84.1, "harassment" means

(a) abusive and unwelcome conduct or comment based on a characteristic referred to in subsection 9(2) of The Human Rights Code; or

(b) conduct or comment that adversely affects an individual's psychological or physical well-being and

(i) is repeated conduct or comment that could reasonably cause an individual to be humiliated or intimidated, or

(ii) is a single occurrence that has a lasting, harmful effect on an individual.

PART 3

THE ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA MUNICIPALITIES INCORPORATION ACT

S.M. 1999, c. 33 amended

6           The Association of Manitoba Municipalities Incorporation Act is amended by this Part.

7           Section 3 is replaced with the following:

Objects

3           The objects of the association are

(a) to promote the general welfare of its members and their inhabitants; and

(b) to carry out the responsibilities assigned to it under this or any other Act.

PART 4

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

8           This Act comes into force six months after the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill requires municipal councils to deal with harassment complaints made against members as part of their council members' code of conduct. Investigation and report procedures are to be established. An individual, such as the Executive Director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, must be designated to investigate harassment complaints. Local governments outside of Winnipeg have the additional option of designating the Association of Manitoba Municipalities as the investigator.