BC NDP Anti-Harassment Policy
The BC New Democratic Party is committed to ensuring that all sanctioned Party activities be conducted in a respectful environment that is free from harassment and/or discrimination and that all members treat each other with respect and dignity.
The BC New Democratic Party will neither tolerate nor condone any behaviour which is likely to create an intimidating or offensive environment.
What is Harassment?
Harassment including sexual harassment, is behaviour that causes substantial distress, or results in an individual’s humiliation or intimidation.
Harassment may be based on many grounds, including but not limited to gender, race, age, political belief, ancestry, colour, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, class, physical or mental disability, religious affiliation, or place of origin.
Harassment can be verbal, physical or psychological. Examples of harassment include:
- Offensive or unwelcome comments about a person’s identity, ability, lifestyle or physical appearance
- Inappropriate, rude or sexual images, jokes or behaviour
- Physical contact without consent or after a request to stop
- Verbal threats or intimidating gestures
- Yelling, name-calling or belittling
- Deliberate misgendering
- Unwelcome sexual attention or invitation
- Continued one-on-one invitations or communication after requests to cease
- Publication of non-harassing private communication
If you have experienced behaviour that you believe constitutes harassment and would like to submit a report to an anti-harassment officer, please submit it to email@example.com.
Who Will Resolve Harassment Complaints?
Harassment complaints will be addressed by five Year-Round Anti-Harassment Officers who are appointed by the Provincial Executive to serve in a year-round capacity to respond to harassment complaints.
During major party events, such as conventions, training weekends, provincial council meetings, and regional conferences, at least two onsite Anti-Harassment Event Officers will be appointed to deal with complaints that may arise from the business portion of those events.
Five Year-Round Anti-Harassment Officers for the BC NDP
The Provincial Executive will appoint five Anti-Harassment Officers based on consultation with the regional representatives and the party’s committees, including at least two who identify as a woman, gender-non-conforming or non-binary person. The names will be shared with all members of the BC NDP provincial council, and the presidents of each constituency association. The Anti-Harassment Officers will participate in procedural training and serve to implement the policy.
Where harassment or discrimination complaints involve one of the appointed Anti-Harassment Officers, then that Officer will be excused and replaced by a member of the Executive who is not directly involved. Whenever possible, the investigating Anti-Harassment Officer will be a neutral party with no prior relationship with the reporter or respondent.
Anti-Harassment Event Officers for Party Events
At large party events including Convention, Forward, Regional Conferences, weekend training sessions and Provincial Council, at least two Anti-Harassment Officers will be appointed by delegates or participants following the Call to Order. Whenever possible, they will be selected from the pool of Year-Round Anti-Harassment Officers.
At least one of the Event Officers must identify as a woman, gender-non-conforming or non-binary person. The names will be proposed by the Table Officers.
Where harassment or discrimination complaints involve one of the appointed Anti-Harassment Event Officers, then that Officer will be excused and replaced by a member of the Executive or a designate who is not directly involved.
How Will Harassment Complaints be Resolved?
If you report something directly to a Year-Round Anti-Harassment Officer or an Anti-Harassment Event Officer or to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will be treated with discretion.
After reporting, the investigation process is as follows:
- Upon reporting, the Anti-Harassment Officer will record the incident and capture the name of the respondent and reporter, a description of the incident, the date and time it occurred, and how it was addressed, using the Anti-Harassment Officer Investigation Form (see appendix).
- If the reporter wants the matter escalated, the Anti-Harassment Officer will document the reporter’s desired outcome. The reporter may decide that they want support to address the problem directly with the respondent and are looking for mediation; they may decide they want the harassment officer to address it directly; it they may just want it noted for the record.
- The Anti-Harassment Officer will then notify at least one other Anti-Harassment Officer and relay the complaint and desired outcome. They may request support in the investigation process at their discretion.
- The Anti-Harassment Officer(s) will interview the respondent and give them the opportunity to respond, and document their response using the Anti-Harassment Officer Investigation Form (see appendix). If necessary, the Anti-Harassment Officers will also interview additional witnesses.
- If the Anti-Harassment Officer(s) agree that the behaviour the reporter describes constitutes harassment according to the definitions of this policy, and evidence supports that harassment occurred, depending on the nature of the incident, the Officer(s) will ask the respondent to stop, ask them to engage in dialogue/mediation, ask them to leave the event, etc.
- If the Anti-Harassment Officer(s) find insufficient evidence of the harassment, or if they do not agree that the behaviour falls under the definition of harassment on page 1 of this document, the reporter will be notified in writing and provided a written explanation by the Anti-Harassment Officer(s).
If the reporter is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation by the Anti-Harassment Officer(s), the reporter will put the allegations in writing and submit the issue to a committee consisting of the President, two Vice-Presidents, and the Chair of an equity committee representing the constituency related to the harassment complaint (ex. If there is an allegation of discrimination on the basis of ability, a co-chair or designate of the Persons Living With Disabilities Caucus would adjudicate).
At this time, the Anti-Harassment Officer(s) will also submit a report in the form of the completed Anti-Harassment Officer Investigation Form to the committee in confidence.
The committee will review the information and if necessary, seek additional input from persons with a direct interest in the complaint. After hearing the matter, the committee will fashion a remedy which could include but is not limited to issuing appropriate sanctions.
If the committee does not find sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the complaint will be dismissed.
Physical Harassment and Violence
If someone reports an incident of physical harassment or violence of any kind, including sexual assault and unwanted touching, the Anti-Harassment Officer will:
- Immediately work with the reporter to get them medical attention if required.
- If the incident occurred at an event, the Anti-Harassment Officer will immediately ask the respondent to leave.
- As part of procedural training, the Anti-Harassment officers will receive training related to assessing threats and notifying police when appropriate. If or when Anti-Harassment officers notify the police of an incident, the Anti-Harassment Officer will not compel the reporter into sharing their personal experience with the police.
- The Anti-Harassment Officer will report the incident as soon as possible to the Provincial Director and President, who may also contact legal counsel.
Application of the Policy
This policy shall be read at the commencement of BC NDP Convention, Forward, and Provincial Council meetings and shall be available for distribution to all other bodies of the Party.
It applies to complaints of harassment that involve members of the BC NDP involved in sanctioned meetings, campaigns, and organizational events, such as canvass nights. Staff at Provincial Office will continue to be governed by the anti-harassment language in their collective agreements.
The policy shall be included in candidate packages and all campaign managers shall receive training on the spirit and application of this policy and ensure it is posted within the campaign office.
Full PDF document with BC NDP Anti-Harassment Officer Investigation Form: