Elizabeth May. (Steven Heywood/News Staff File)

Green Party closes harassment investigation against Elizabeth May

Investigation found claims made in January don’t constitute workplace harassment under law

Claims of harassment against federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have been found without merit, and the Party has closed its investigation.

In a media release today (May 10) the Party stated that allegations made in January of last year of workplace harassment against May were investigated by Torys LLP in Toronto, led by Sheila Block. That investigation, they state, “concluded that the allegations do not constitute workplace harassment. The investigation is now closed.”

RELATED: Green Party to investigate claims of bullying.

Three former employees of the Party — Rob Rainer, Diana Nunes and Vanessa Brustolin — made allegations of bullying and harassment to the Toronto Star and The Hill Times. Once made public, the Party — with cooperation from May — initiated the investigation.

According to the summary report by Torys LLP, two of the three complainants (Brustolin declined) and May to get each side of the story.

RELATED: Green Party defends leader Elizabeth May.

“For the purposes of our analysis, we accepted the complainants’ allegations as true,” reads the summary. “We also accept that the three complainants feel strongly that they were mistreated. However, in our opinion, their allegations, if accepted as true, do not rise to the level of workplace harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”

The investigation found Rainer’s allegations a reflection of a tense workplace environment, caused by coworkers who did not like each other and the fact he took job performance questions personally.

“Because he saw no fault in his performance, he concluded that he was subject to an unjustified personal attack. People can and do have different expectations and views with respect to a person’s job performance, but criticisms directed at a person’s job performance do not meet the legal standard that is the focus of our investigation.”

The investigation found that Rainer’s complaints did not “constitute ‘a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.’”

Nunes, states the report, indicated she did not have specific allegations of harassment against May, but concerns around her treatment of others.

“In our opinion, even if we accept them as accurate, none of them constitute workplace harassment.”

Brustolin declined to meet with investigators, but based on her emails and recollection of interactions with May, her allegations did not constitute “a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.”

The team has recommended the Green Party of Canada keep the rest of the report confidential, based on solicitor-client privilege and personal information issues.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

Sidney meets 52 per cent of demand, the best figure for six surveyed communities

Four-storey Oak Bay Avenue development to have rooftop garden

Redfern 35-unit development sent to public hearing

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read