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Activists Call Fire Brigade To Protect Non-Binary Employees, Take Action Against Hate

“Many transgender people are being pushed out of the traditional job market because of the level of transphobia they have to deal with.”

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The executive director of Canada’s Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity was deeply disappointed by allegations that a non-binary firefighter in Ottawa was physically assaulted by a hate-driven colleague.

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“I’m very disappointed,” Debbie Owusu Akiye said in an interview on Tuesday. “I think we need to recognize that men dominate the workplace. and mostly white and heterosexual There is also the issue of misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. ”

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Owusu-Akyeeah said transgender people face discrimination when applying for jobs and find it difficult to accept the fact that many face harassment and violence even after getting a job.

“Many transgender people are being kicked out of the traditional job market because of the level of transphobia they have to deal with,” she said. It is truly terrifying that people working in publicly funded front-line services are also facing this.”

Owusu-Akyeeah was reacting to the news that one of Ottawa’s firefighters is facing a series of indictments in connection with an alleged workplace assault on a colleague. An Ottawa Fire Department employee has been charged with hate-based assault, aggravated assault, forced confinement and harassment.

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A second OFS member was charged with criminal negligence in connection with the same incident.

Ottawa police said they did not name the two to protect the identity of the complainants.

A report published by CBC News suggests that the incident involved a rookie firefighter who identified himself as non-binary. In a complaint filed with police on Sept. 20, the individual claimed he was strangled from behind by his colleagues during the incident, which also faced a string of gender-based slurs.

After the incident, the victim was taken to the hospital.

Ottawa Fire Chief Paul Hutt could not be reached for comment.

However, in a statement Tuesday, Kim Ayot, the city’s general manager of emergency and protection services, said the city was conducting an internal investigation into the incident. Both firefighters are currently on leave.

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“The city is evaluating next steps in accordance with the city’s disciplinary policy,” said Ayot, adding, “We are committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for all employees.” Added.

Ottawa’s fire department remains a male-dominated agency. In its latest annual report, the service says it recognizes the need for “sustained outreach efforts” to attract a workforce that better represents the community.

Eight percent of full-time firefighter recruits and 23 percent of rural firefighters in 2020 were female recruits, most of whom worked part-time, according to the annual report.

2018 Last year for which statistics are available About 6 percent of the city’s firefighters were women. Firefighting has sought to strengthen the complementation of women through programs such as the Women Firefighters in Training (FITT) program.

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Owusu-Akyeeah said the fire department needs to be more diverse in its workforce and that newcomers feel safe and supported within the facility.

“Everybody else was doing this calculation, but I think the firefighters got to the scene late.”

Owusu-Akyeeah said he hopes the fire department will do everything possible to hold the two accountable for their actions. Including firing them while supporting the victim. “Department leaders need to ensure that the most vulnerable people are protected,” she said.

Doug McLennan, president of the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association, said Tuesday that it was difficult for members to make sense of the news that two of his colleagues had been arrested. It’s a unique group,” he said. “We will be united again. That is our nature as firefighters.”

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McLennan said he had no concerns about the service’s ability to absorb a more diverse workforce, saying, “I think it’s an isolated incident.”

Hutt said in an email to employees earlier this week that the service does not tolerate “inappropriate behavior” in the workplace and urged employees to report such misconduct to management. He urged staff not to gossip or speculate about the incident in court at this time.

The two defendants are scheduled to appear in court on December 16.

“Though incidents like this are isolated, their impact can be difficult to handle and far-reaching,” Hutt wrote.

Statistics Canada data released earlier this year showed that hate crimes targeting people because of their sexual orientation accounted for 10% of all crimes reported to police. Blacks (26%), Jews (13%) and Asians (11%) were the most frequently targeted groups in 2020.

A 2011 Trans Pulse survey of transgender Canadians found that only 37% had full-time jobs, and many of those employed experienced violence, discrimination and exclusion in the workplace. I know what you experienced.

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Activists Call Fire Brigade To Protect Non-Binary Employees, Take Action Against Hate

Source link Activists Call Fire Brigade To Protect Non-Binary Employees, Take Action Against Hate

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