Colchester councillor ordered to take workplace training over sexual remark
Investigation was launched over remark Coun. Bob Pash made to employee at municipal Christmas party
An independent investigation has found a remark made by a Colchester County, N.S., councillor to a municipal employee was an "inappropriate comment of a sexualized nature," but did not constitute harassment because it was isolated.
Bob Pash told CBC News in December that something he said at a Municipality of Colchester Christmas party was taken the wrong way, but was not vulgar.
A news release from the municipality said Pash threatened legal action against the complainant and the county's chief administrative officer, which the council finds "unacceptable."
The investigator also found Pash's decision to speak publicly about the complaint is a significant concern because such a breach of confidentiality could deter others from making complaints in the future.
The importance of confidentiality will be part of the respectful workplace training that Pash has been ordered to undertake by the end of March.
The incident highlighted a gap in Colchester's policies. Unlike many other municipalities, it did not have a code of conduct. That was rectified on Thursday when county council adopted such a policy, but it said it plans to improve it.
Municipal officials said the county's respectful workplace policy, the laws on harassment and sexual harassment, and the Human Rights Act were used to guide the investigation.
Municipal officials refused to be interviewed about the investigation and Pash did not return calls.
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