New Brunswick

Commissionaires Corps clarifies Wayne Grant's job status

The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires is clarifying how it dealt with Wayne Grant in the aftermath of an official languages complaint filed with the provincial government.

Provincial government put a higher bilingual requirement on working at Centennial Building after complaint

Commissionare Wayne Grant says his hours were cut back after the province received a language complaint. (CBC)

The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires is clarifying how it dealt with Wayne Grant in the aftermath of an official languages investigation filed with the provincial government.

The investigation, which was initiated by Katherine d'Entremont, the province's official languages commissioner, has touched off a political controversy over her handling of the complaint.

Once the provincial government received the letter from the languages watchdog, Grant saw his hours reduced.

The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, which is Grant's direct employer, clarified the events that led to the reduction of his work hours on Friday.

Peter Kramers, the organization's chief executive officer for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, said the Corps's view is that because Grant was willing to contact a bilingual colleague on May 6 until d'Entremont switched to English, he was meeting the requirements of the Official Languages Act.

"We did a review of everything that happened with DTI [Department of Transportation and Infrastructure] and commissionaire Grant did do as he was instructed," Kramers said.

"We met the requirements of the province."

He said the organization met with government officials after d'Entremont told the province she was investigating.

During that discussion, the government said it had decided Grant's normal position at the Centennial Building needed a higher level of bilingual service.

That's why the Corps shifted him out of the position, Kramers said.

"We were following the client request, the client's request for services."

Bilingualism requirement changed

The Corps is committed to getting Grant the work hours he wants, Kramers added.

But because the higher bilingualism requirement is still in place at his old post at the Centennial Building, Grant can't be reinstated there, he said.

D'Entremont held a news conference on Friday in Fredericton to explain her complaint and answer questions about the continuing controversy, which has caused at least one political party to demand her removal.

The commissioner has been criticized because in her notice of investigation to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, she referred to "the complainant" without stating that she was the one who initiated the investigation.

She told reporters that she did not specify in the letter that it was her initiative because she did not want department staff to give the complaint more importance.

The official languages commissioner said she was at Chancery Place to meet a government official when she had her encounter with Grant.

She said she didn't set out to make a deliberate check of the provision of security services in both official languages.


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