Shortly before more concerns were raised Friday about harassment within GN workplaces, Premier Joe Savikataaq said he has instructed department staff to review the GN’s harassment policies to ensure they are adequate for women who have been victims of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
Speaking in the legislative assembly, Savikataaq said he has requested that a working group – comprising female deputy ministers, human resources experts and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit coordinators, among others – identify “gaps and solutions” and confirm that there are enough supports and resources available to address workplace harassment.
“I want to assure my fellow members and the public that this is not a one-time fix,” said Savikataaq. “I know this that is an ongoing initiative and one that requires time, understanding, and organizational changes. I am committed to continuing to make the GN a safer and more inclusive place for women.”
Pangnirtung MLA Margaret Nakashuk later raised the issue of some Inuit senior and middle managers within Nunavut Arctic College resigning recently due to a “hostile, abusive or poisonous” work environment.
“Others are still there but concerned for their jobs,” Nakashuk said. “This is not the type of work environment we want for our employees, especially when we are trying to encourage the employment of Inuit in management positions.”
Education Minister David Joanasie replied that he is aware of two or three recent resignations within Nunavut Arctic College, but he said he didn’t know the reasons for the employees’ departures.
“If an issue crops up with any of our employees, they have to approach their supervisor or the next higher management position on up to the senior manager to submit their complaints,” Joanasie said.